Contact Information

Department of Chemistry, CB 124

4700 Keele Street

Toronto, ON Canada M3J 1P3

Office: Petrie Sc. & Eng. Bldg, Rm. 145

Tel: 416-736-2100 ext. 77728

Fax: 416-736-5936


updated November 18, 2016

Prof. Gino G. Lavoie
Research Group Website

New Journal of Chemistry 2014, 38, 499–502 (DOI: 10.1039/c3nj01416a)

Reactivity study of low-coordinate phosphaalkene IMes=PPh with Grubbs first-generation ruthenium benzylidene complexes.

Abstract. Reaction of IMes=PPh with RuCl2L2(CHPh) (L = PPh3 and PCy3) gave complexes with selectivity that is dependent on the metal precursor used. RuCl2(IMes=PPh)(PPh3)(CHPh), which adopts the rare cis chloride configuration, was inactive in ring-opening metathesis of diallyl sulfide. In contrast, the PCy3 analogue could not be isolated, and in fact led to an unusual decomposition product with two C–H activations. 

Featured Molecule
Research Interests
Our research group is interested in the synthesis and study of new organometallic complexes, with structural features that allow control of the electronic and steric nature of the reactive site. The work aims at developing a better understanding of the characteristics needed to achieve high activity in metal-assisted stoichiometric and catalytic transformations with no decomposition of the transition metal complex under acceptable reaction conditions. Of special interests are transformations that pertain (i) to the controlled polymerization of functional group-containing olefins into new materials, (ii) to olefin metathesis using ruthenium-based catalysts, (iii) to hydrogenation of double bonds by base metals, (iv) to the activation and functionalization of small inert molecules, especially molecular nitrogen, and (v) to the oxidation of water to molecular oxygen.
The research program draws from Prof. Lavoie’s experience in olefin metathesis and polymerization, in activation of inert C–H bonds, and in homogeneous oxidation acquired through work done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Prof. Richard R. Schrock (2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry), at the University of California at Berkeley with Prof. Robert G. Bergman, and at Eastman Chemical Company.
Members of the group gain hands-on experience in organometallic chemistry, organic chemistry, computational chemistry, catalysis and polymer science. The research program fosters cross-discipline interactions and collaborations that are highly valued and essential in today’s fast-paced research environment. Such a broad exposure, yet with a focus on the use of transition metal complexes as catalysts, is highly instrumental to a successful career as chemists.

Post-doctoral position available for highly motivated individuals to work on new catalyst development in the areas of base metal double bond hydrogenation, functional olefin polymerization, olefin metathesis, and small molecules activation. The individual should have a strong background in organometallic chemistry, including the synthesis and characterization of small organic molecules and of transition metal complexes under inert conditions (using standard Schlenk techniques and gloveboxes). Interested candidates should send a cover letter, a CV and contact information of three references to Prof. Lavoie ( by November 28. The successful candidate will be contacted shortly thereafter. The position is conditional on the candidate applying and receiving a premier York Science Fellowship ($72,200/y for 2 years; see for eligibility criteria and financial details).