C-H activation by an iridium catalyst (IMAGE) University of California - Berkeley Caption A catalyst (center) based on iridium (blue ball) can snip a hydrogen atom (white balls) off a terminal methyl group (upper and lower left) to add a boron-oxygen compound (pink and red) that is easily swapped out for more complicated chemical groups. The reaction works on simple hydrocarbon chains (top reaction) or more complicated carbon compounds (bottom reaction). The exquisite selectivity of this catalytic reaction is due to the methyl group (yellow) that has been added to the iridium catalyst. The black balls are carbon atoms; red is oxygen; pink is boron. (UC Berkeley image by John Hartwig) Credit John Hartwig, UC Berkeley Usage Restrictions None License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.