Joakim Samuel Jestilä successfully defended his PhD thesis

Joakim Samuel Jestilä defended his PhD thesis entitled «Reductive gas-phase ion chemistry of simple oxocarbons in the presence of alkali and alkaline earth metals» at the Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo on September 16, 2021.

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Dr. Joakim Samuel Jestilä

Having delivered his trial lecture “The role of CO2 in space as a building block for complex organic molecules (COMs)” in the morning, Joakim Jestilä defended his PhD thesis in the afternoon of September 16 2021. The external opponents were Prof. Peter R. Schreiner, Institut für Organische Chemie, Justus Liebig Universität Gießen, Germany and Associate professor Héloïse Dossmann, Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France. The administrative member of the committee was Professor Armin Wisthaler, Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Norway. The defence was carried out in a hybrid manner, with Prof. Schreiner participating online, whereas Assoc. Professor Dossmann visited Oslo and gave a guest lecture at the Department of Chemistry the day after. The chair of the defence was Prof. Harald Walderhaug, Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo.

Joakim was supervised by Prof. Einar Uggerud (main supervisor) and Prof. Trygve Helgaker (co-supervisor), both from the Hylleraas Centre.

The thesis can be downloaded here:

Popular scientific abstract:

In a circular carbon economy, carbon dioxide (CO2) is recycled and used as a molecular building block to make fuels, chemicals and materials, driven by renewable energy sources. Hence, the molecule represents a potential replacement for oil, natural gas and coal as one of the primary sources of carbon.  

A major bottleneck stems from the fact that CO2 requires activation before it can be converted. This work explores the activation and reduction of CO2 by the alkali metal and alkaline earth metal chloride anions on a fundamental level. It sheds light on relevant factors in the conversion of CO2 to valuable products such as oxalate (C2O42−) and carbon monoxide (CO), as well as further conversion of the latter. The aforementioned processes proceed via metal-CO2 intermediates—chemical species formed during conversion of reactants to products—and this thesis links their properties to the extent of CO2 activation. Specifically, more complete electron transfer from the metal to CO2 and larger structural changes in the intermediates are associated with lower energetic demands for further reaction and conversion. These results could prove useful for the development of efficient CO2-recycling processes.

Published Sep. 28, 2021 8:30 AM - Last modified Sep. 30, 2021 1:43 PM