The assembly of molecules for all manner of applications is occurring constantly - right from novel molecules on a milligram scale to established ones on a tonne scale. The principles and methods employed to achieve this form the basis of synthetic chemistry. Synthetic chemists generally work within established guidelines of reactivity and selectivity which define how we approach the disconnection of a target molecule into smaller building blocks. Establishing new bond disconnections and finding innovative ways to exert control on reaction selectivity is key to advancing synthetic chemistry and thereby streamlining the process of putting together target molecules.
The group's research will focus on exploring novel approaches to catalysis for the rapid and efficient construction of small molecules. Of great importance is that the methods are highly selective, which covers chemoselectivity, regioselectivity and enantioselectivity. We are particularly interested in exploring new designs of multifunctional catalysts, which could be purely organic or incorporating transition metals, to facilitate such reactions. Hydrogen bonding interactions have been shown over the last decade to be a powerful tool in chemical catalysis and these will play an important role in our research, but equally the potential of other non-covalent interactions remain to be explored in catalysis. Asymmetric catalysis will play a central role in our research, but we are also interested in taking inspiration from supramolecular chemistry to develop new catalytic systems for selective synthesis.
There will be opportunities for PhD studentships beginning in October 2017 so please get in touch to if you would like to find out more about the research and opportunities.