The following themes characterize the group research:
- Ligand design.
In addition to the well-known steric and electronic effects the ligand geometry of the catalyst centre has a profound influence on the reaction rate and selectivity. Designing ligands that steer the catalytic reaction in an enantio-selective manner is a major research aim.
- Supramolecular catalysis.
Supramolecular building blocks such as calixarenes and porphyrins are used to construct novel catalysts based on non-covalent bonds. This approach may lead to catalysts containing a substrate-binding site next to a catalyst-binding site. It is envisaged that these new supramolecular systems give higher selectivity for the intended substrate and the desired product.
For viable catalytic processes the separation of catalyst and reaction product is of great importance. A broad range of separation techniques is under investigation, such as catalysis in water, development of dendrimeric catalysts, and heterogenisation. Especially for alkene metathesis we focus on heterogeneous catalysis.