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Experimental Mechanistic Studies of Organic Reactions

Project Description

The aim of the project is to improve chemical systems using the knowledge obtained through modern mechanistic methodologies. These methodologies include new analysis of kinetic profiling obtained by NMR and in-situ FT-IR. The student will receive excellent training in chemical kinetics and reaction monitoring techniques. At the end of the PhD, the student will possess a set of unique and useful skills highly valuable both in academia and in industry.

To collect the data for the mechanistic studies we will use modern reaction monitoring tools, such as the flow probe NMR, ReactIR and the use of autosamplers. The data obtained will be analysed by kinetic analyses based on the examination of entire reaction profiles, such as the recently developed Variable Time Normalization Analysis (VTNA).

The information through the mechanistic studies will be used to improve the chemical reactions in terms of turnover frequencies, turnover numbers and reduction of starting material required. We envision that some of the improvements will require a controlled addition profile during the course of the reaction of one or more reaction components: substrates, catalyst or additives.

In the context of this project we will study several organocatalytic and organometallic reactions.

Contact for further Information:

Funding Notes

Candidates should have a solid organic chemistry background and be enthusiastic in understanding catalytic processes at molecular level. Candidates should hold, or be expected to achieve, a first class or upper second class Master degree in Chemistry. The post is only open to UK/EU citizens due to funding restrictions. The fellowship will cover tuition fees, as well as a tax-free standard EPSRC stipend for PhD students (£14,777 in 2018-19)

We expect the programme to start in January 2019.


•Companyó, X.; Burés J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 8432–8435
• Burés, J. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 16084–16087
•Somerville, R.; Hale, L. V. A.; Gomez-Bengoa, E.; Burés, J.; Martin, R. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 8771
•Whitaker, D.; Burés, J.*; Larrosa, I. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 8384–8387

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