The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon grant to HIMS PhD graduate Danny Broere. It enables him to conduct research for a period of two years at Yale University, New Haven (US).
The Rubicon programme is aimed at giving promising young researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience. During the current round a total of 100 young researchers submitted a proposal of which 22 were granted.
Danny Broere will be working in the group of prof. Patrick Holland at Yale to develop novel catalyst systems capable of directly converting molecular nitrogen into amines at ambient temperatures. Current methodologies for the synthesis of amines require vast amounts of energy and create a great deal of waste. With his Rubicon research Broere aims to develop new synthetic methodology that is more time-, energy- and waste efficient.
The Holland group at Yale is a world leader in the field of N2 fixation and high-spin organometallic catalysis using well-defined late transition metal complexes. The group is well known for the quality of both spectroscopic and mechanistic investigations. Broere, who obtained his PhD cum laude at UvA last month, expects that working in the Holland group will enable him to develop and exploit new insights into the organometallic activation of N2.
Broere's proposed concept for the amine synthesis relies on the incorporation of redox-active ligands, on which he specialized during his PhD, into iron complexes that are known to activate N2. These modifications will supply additional electrons from the redox-active ligand and allow for the generation of highly reactive nitrogen-centered radicals, which then can be converted to amines.
With the Rubicon programme the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) gives scientists at the start of their careers the opportunity to gain research experience at leading foreign international institutes for a period of up to 24 months. The size of the grant depends on the destination chosen and the duration of the stay. The programme is named after the river Rubicon. Julius Caesar crossed the river before embarking on the series of victories that led to his famous pronouncement 'veni, vidi, vici'.