Étudiant-chercheur étoile October 2015

Marc-André Légaré

PhD student in Chemistry
Université Laval

Award-winning publication: Metal-free catalytic C-H bond activation and borylation of heteroarenes

Published in: Science


Catalysis is a widely known chemical phenomenon that triggers reactions that are otherwise difficult to create. Among these reactions is the addition of a chemical function to carbon-hydrogen (C–H) bonds, which are found in all organic molecules and are among the most common bonds in nature. Unfortunately, catalysis is chiefly driven by the use of costly, rare and toxic precious metals that generate potentially hazardous environmental impacts. The trend in many sectors is towards sustainability, and chemistry is no exception. C–H bonds can produce reactions that generate little or no waste. Marc-André Légaré has set out a new avenue for catalysis that combines boron and nitrogen to imitate reactivity with precious metals. For the first time, catalysts derived from non-toxic elements elicit a C–H reaction that is promising for several industries, including the agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors.