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Mechanisms in organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis


Department of Chemistry

About the Project

Homogeneous catalysis by transition metal complexes plays an important role in many significant industrial processes. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these reactions is key to improving catalytic activity and selectivity to enhance overall process efficiency. Our research focuses particularly on catalytic processes that use carbon monoxide as a feedstock, for example methanol carbonylation and alkene hydroformylation. Both of these are operated on large scale in industry, using cobalt, rhodium and iridium based catalysts. One current focus of our research is the investigation of ligand effects on the rates of organometallic reaction steps in catalytic cycles such as oxidative addition and migratory insertion. We are also studying how such reactions are influenced by using alternative solvents such as ionic liquids. Projects involve a combination of synthetic organometallic chemistry and characterisation with mechanistic and kinetic studies. In situ reaction monitoring is achieved using infrared spectroscopy, including apparatus for high-pressure studies. The experimental work is complemented by computational studies using density functional theory. Further specific project details can be discussed with applicants who have or are seeking appropriate funding.


Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project. The applicant should have or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.

If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work with this supervisor will be considered.

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