Research of the Homogeneous, Supramolecular and Bio-Inspired Catalysis group is part of the HIMS research theme 'Catalysis'. The main research objective is the development of novel catalytic processes driven by our knowledge of the relationship between structure and performance of the catalyst. Research projects span from fundamental to applied catalysis, the latter in collaboration with industry and via spin-off companies.
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