Roy Periana

Roy Periana, Ph.D.


Business Phone: (561) 228-2457
Business Email:

About Roy Periana

B. S. University of Michigan, 1979; Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1985, Ph.D. advisor: Robert G. Bergman; Previously worked at Dow Chemical company, Monsanto Company in Missouri, Catalytica, Catalytica Advanced Technologies, SRI International and an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. Currently he is a Professor of chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute and Director of the Scripps Energy Laboratories.

Related Links:
Additional Positions:
Professor of Chemistry
2007 – 2022 · Scripps Research Institute, Florida
Director, Scripps Energy and Materials Center (SEMC)
2007 – 2022 · Scripps Research Institute, Florida
Faculty Associate
2003 – 2007 · Power Environmental & Energy Research Center, California Institute of Technology
2000 – 2007 · USC-Caltech-Chevron Consortium on New Catalysis Technology
Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
2000 – 2007 · Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California
Co-Founder and Vice President of Research
1994 – 2000 · Catalytica Advanced Technologies
Senior Research Fellow and Project Leader
1988 – 1994 · Catalytica, Inc.
Research Specialist
1985 – 1988 · Monsanto Company
Research Chemist
1979 – 1981 · The Dow Chemical Company


Co-Founder and Member of Board of Directors
2015-2022 · Hyconix, Inc.
Founder and Member of Board of Directors
2005-2007 · Qateomix, Inc.
1999 · Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

Research Profile

Design and Study of Molecular Catalysts for Small Molecule Conversion

CH4 (and other light alkanes in Natural Gas), N2, O2, H2O and CO2 are among the most abundant raw materials on Earth. Chemical reactions of these small molecules generate most of the world’s energy, emissions and materials. However, in spite of a century of research, current technologies still operate at higher costs, generate substantially more emissions and lead to greater dependence on petroleum than required. At the foundation of these inefficiencies is the high strength of the bonds in all of the small molecules. In spite of intensive effort over more than 50 years, failure to develop chemistry to controllably make and break these bonds has led to the unfortunate assignment of these small molecule challenges as “Holy Grails” in chemistry. The focus of our research is to overcome these challenges through the design of next generation catalysts for the direct, selective, conversion of these molecules. One particular emphasis continues to be the design of systems that will enable the direct conversion of alkanes to fuels and chemicals at lower temperatures. This could replace or augment the use of petroleum with cleaner, more abundant Natural Gas as a transition to a cleaner future. Our approach is based on the rational, de novo design of molecular (s-called homogeneous or single-site) catalysts through an iterative process involving conceptual design, computational study, synthesis, characterization and study of reaction chemistry and mechanisms. Our research interests include the design of catalysts for: CH hydroxylation; CH aminations, N2 fixation, O2 activation and CO2 reduction.

Areas of Interest
  • Chemical protein synthesis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Reaction Mechanisms
  • Synthesis
  • Synthetic organic chemistry


Experimental Demonstration and Density Functional Theory Mechanistic Analysis of Arene C-H Bond Oxidation and Product Protection by Osmium Tetroxide in a Strongly Basic/Nucleophilic Solvent.
The Journal of organic chemistry. 87(21):13573-13582 [DOI] 10.1021/acs.joc.2c01159. [PMID] 36191170.
Theory and Experiment Demonstrate that Sb(V)-Promoted Methane C-H Activation and Functionalization Outcompete Superacid Protonolysis in Sulfuric Acid.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 143(43):18242-18250 [DOI] 10.1021/jacs.1c08170. [PMID] 34665603.
Homogeneous Methane Functionalization
Direct Natural Gas Conversion to Value-Added Chemicals. 331-376
SN2 and E2 Branching of Main-Group-Metal Alkyl Intermediates in Alkane CH Oxidation: Mechanistic Investigation Using Isotopically Labeled Main-Group-Metal Alkyls
Organometallics. 39(10):1907-1916 [DOI] 10.1021/acs.organomet.0c00120.
Selective C-H Functionalization of Methane and Ethane by a Molecular SbV Complex.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 58(8):2241-2245 [DOI] 10.1002/anie.201809159. [PMID] 30589173.
Supermetal: SbF5-mediated methane oxidation occurs by C-H activation and isobutane oxidation occurs by hydride transfer.
Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003). 48(45):17029-17036 [DOI] 10.1039/c9dt03564h. [PMID] 31693026.
Comment on “Selective anaerobic oxidation of methane enables direct synthesis of methanol”.
Science (New York, N.Y.). 358(6360) [DOI] 10.1126/science.aan5970. [PMID] 29026016.
Homogeneous Functionalization of Methane.
Chemical reviews. 117(13):8521-8573 [DOI] 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00739. [PMID] 28459540.
A mechanistic change results in 100 times faster CH functionalization for ethane versus methane by a homogeneous Pt catalyst.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 136(28):10085-94 [DOI] 10.1021/ja504368r. [PMID] 24925375.
Main-group compounds selectively oxidize mixtures of methane, ethane, and propane to alcohol esters.
Science (New York, N.Y.). 343(6176):1232-7 [DOI] 10.1126/science.1249357. [PMID] 24626925.
Selective CH functionalization of methane, ethane, and propane by a perfluoroarene iodine(III) complex.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 53(39):10490-4 [DOI] 10.1002/anie.201406185. [PMID] 25131994.
Selective electrocatalytic oxidation of a re-methyl complex to methanol by a surface-bound Ru(II) polypyridyl catalyst.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 136(45):15845-8 [DOI] 10.1021/ja507979c. [PMID] 25325162.
Selective monooxidation of light alkanes using chloride and iodate.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 136(23):8393-401 [DOI] 10.1021/ja502657g. [PMID] 24866148.
Using reduced catalysts for oxidation reactions: mechanistic studies of the “Periana-Catalytica” system for CH4 oxidation.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 135(39):14644-58 [DOI] 10.1021/ja404895z. [PMID] 23927450.
Designing catalysts for functionalization of unactivated C-H bonds based on the CH activation reaction.
Accounts of chemical research. 45(6):885-98 [DOI] 10.1021/ar200250r. [PMID] 22482496.
Reversible hydrogen storage using CO2 and a proton-switchable iridium catalyst in aqueous media under mild temperatures and pressures.
Nature chemistry. 4(5):383-8 [DOI] 10.1038/nchem.1295. [PMID] 22522258.
The para-substituent effect and pH-dependence of the organometallic Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of rhenium-carbon bonds.
Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003). 41(13):3758-63 [DOI] 10.1039/c2dt11984f. [PMID] 22327118.
Iridium complexes bearing a PNP ligand, favoring facile C(sp3)-H bond cleavage.
Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003). 40(36):9094-7 [DOI] 10.1039/c1dt10577a. [PMID] 21833386.
Rhodium complexes bearing tetradentate diamine-bis(phenolate) ligands.
Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003). 40(1):301-4 [DOI] 10.1039/c0dt00997k. [PMID] 21069237.
Acceleration of nucleophilic CH activation by strongly basic solvents.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 132(36):12542-5 [DOI] 10.1021/ja102518m. [PMID] 20734988.
Anion-exchange-triggered 1,3-shift of an NH proton to iridium in protic n-heterocyclic carbenes: hydrogen-bonding and ion-pairing effects.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 49(5):912-7 [DOI] 10.1002/anie.200905691. [PMID] 20039244.
C-H activation in strongly acidic media. The co-catalytic effect of the reaction medium.
Chemical communications (Cambridge, England). (17):2373-5 [DOI] 10.1039/b821854d. [PMID] 19377690.
Experimental realization of catalytic CH4 hydroxylation predicted for an iridium NNC pincer complex, demonstrating thermal, protic, and oxidant stability.
Chemical communications (Cambridge, England). (22):3270-2 [DOI] 10.1039/b823303a. [PMID] 19587936.
Oxy-functionalization of nucleophilic rhenium(I) metal carbon bonds catalyzed by selenium(IV).
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 131(7):2466-8 [DOI] 10.1021/ja806814c. [PMID] 19161305.
Product protection, the key to developing high performance methane selective oxidation catalysts.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 131(47):17110-5 [DOI] 10.1021/ja903930e. [PMID] 19891471.
Transition-state charge transfer reveals electrophilic, ambiphilic, and nucleophilic carbon-hydrogen bond activation.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 131(33):11686-8 [DOI] 10.1021/ja902748c. [PMID] 19653684.
Facile oxy-functionalization of a nucleophilic metal alkyl with a cis-dioxo metal species via a (2+3) transition state.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 47(41):7849-52 [DOI] 10.1002/anie.200802575. [PMID] 18773396.
Methylrhenium trioxide revisited: mechanisms for nonredox oxygen insertion in an M-CH3 bond.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 129(51):15794-804 [PMID] 18052160.
Carboxylic solvents and O-donor ligand effects on CH activation by Pt(II).
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 128(23):7404-5 [PMID] 16756270.
Facile functionalization of a metal carbon bond by O-atom transfer.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 128(28):9018-9 [PMID] 16834359.
C-H activation of alkanes and arenes catalyzed by an O-donor bis(tropolonato)iridium(III) complex.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 44(10):1540-3 [PMID] 15674988.
CH activation with an O-donor iridium-methoxo complex.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 127(41):14172-3 [PMID] 16218597.
Synthesis, structure, and reactivity of O-donor Ir(III) complexes: C-H activation studies with benzene.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 127(32):11372-89 [PMID] 16089467.
Mechanism of homogeneous Ir(III) catalyzed regioselective arylation of olefins.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 126(1):352-63 [PMID] 14709102.
Mechanistic analysis of hydroarylation catalysts.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 126(37):11658-65 [PMID] 15366913.
Selective oxidation of methane to methanol catalyzed, with C-H activation, by homogeneous, cationic gold.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 43(35):4626-9 [PMID] 15316997.
Alkane C-H activation and catalysis by an O-donor ligated iridium complex.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 125(47):14292-3 [PMID] 14624574.
Novel bis-acac-O,O-Ir(III) catalyst for anti-Markovnikov, hydroarylation of olefins operates by arene CH activation.
Chemical communications (Cambridge, England). (24):3000-1 [PMID] 12536786.
Catalysis research of relevance to carbon management: progress, challenges, and opportunities.
Chemical reviews. 101(4):953-96 [PMID] 11709862.
A mercury-catalyzed, high-yield system for the oxidation of methane to methanol.
Science (New York, N.Y.). 259(5093):340-3 [PMID] 17832346.


Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry
1985 · University of California, Berkeley
Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry
1979 · University of Michigan

Contact Details

(561) 228-2457
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Location A315