Royal Society honors Robert Crabtree, developer of 'Crabtree Catalyst'

Yale chemist Robert Crabtree has won the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, in London, an award made to outstanding chemists outside the United Kingdom who are also exceptional communicators.

Robert Crabtree

The winner typically makes a lecture tour of universities across the British Isles.

Crabtree, who at Yale is the Whitehead Professor of Chemistry, is known for the development of catalysts, most notably the “Crabtree Catalyst,” which has multiple uses, notably in pharmaceuticals. He joined the Yale faculty in 1977.

In recent years Crabtree also has been part of the Yale Solar Group. With colleague Gary Brudvig he has developed a series of catalysts that split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Water splitting is a key step in the attempt to mimic photosynthesis in a device that converts solar energy into storable fuel.

Crabtree is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Chemical Society.