The electrochemical properties of ionic liquids (ILs) make them attractive for possible replacement of inorganic salts in high temperature molten salt electrochemical processing of nuclear fuel. To be a feasible replacement solvent, ILs need to be stable in moderate and high doses of radiation without adverse chemical and physical effects. Here, we exposed seven different ILs to a 1.2 MGy dose of gamma radiation to investigate their physical and chemical properties as they related to radiological stability. The azolium-based ILs experienced the greatest change in appearance, but these ILs were chemically more stable to gamma radiation than some of the other classes of ILs tested, due to the presence of aromatic electrons in the azolium ring. All the ILs exhibited a decrease in their conductivity and electrochemical window (at least 1.1 V), both of which could affect the utility of ILs in electrochemical processing. The concentration of the irradiation decomposition products was less than 3 mol. %, with no impurities detectable using NMR techniques.
Asymmetric homogeneous catalysis forms one of the main planks of modern organic synthesis. It has developed rapidly and largely through the application of novel ligands, whose design is very much based on insight and intuition. At the same time, a better understanding of catalytic reaction mechanisms can contribute to further progress, since it can identify the intimate relationship between ligand structure and successful applications. The presentation will concentrate on the author's research with complexes of the late transition metals and include the search for superior methodologies in hydroboration, as well as ventures into the chemistry of reactive intermediates. The latter will be exemplified from work with rhodium and palladium catalysts.