Multicatalysis for the functionalization of organic substrates, water oxidation and CO2 fixation

My research interests have been focused on two main topics: understanding the mechanism involving bioinorganic and inorganic molecules; and organometallic catalysis. Although more than the half of my computational projects tried to give insight to experimental issues, there is another precious part that tries to make a step forward, in terms of prediction of reactivity, including the description of the sterics of a ligand by the vBur index, which is user friendly for experimentalists thanks to a web server. Overall, the next years will be based on the work in collaboration with the outstanding world experimental groups to ensure research of high quality; develop new strategies to improve the synthesis of candidate drugs thanks to olefin metathesis catalysts, get the right recipe to transform water in molecular hydrogen as a source of energy by ruthenium water oxidation catalysts, and last but not least the hydrogenation and fixation of CO2.

Computational organometallic catalysis

This research line has a very simple goal: get computationally a new catalyst or family of catalysts for any kind of organometallic reaction with some clear characteristics: more efficiency, cheaper, no toxic or less toxic than the available ones. DFT calculations together with tools such as the steric maps obtained thanks to the vBur parameter aim to fulfil this objective; together with a long list of international collaborators: S. P. Nolan, K. Grela, G. W. Coates, C. Slugovc, L. Cavallo, J.-M. Basset,… In particular, olefin metathesis is found to be a useful tool to generate drugs against hepatitis for example, by means of the synthesis of macrocycles; or the study of the polymerization by Co-based catalysis is of industrial interest.


Unravel computationally the mechanism of society concerns

This research line plans to find solutions for issues that create society concerns such the fixation of carbon dioxide, together with experiments carried out by Prof. S. P. Nolan or Prof. J.-M. Basset. The dual metal concerted catalysis is mandatory to fix CO2 and/or facilitate its transformation to other substances such as carbonates. On the other hand, the hydrogenation of CO2 by knölcker iron based catalysts is another way to reduce CO2 concentration. Last but not least, the generation of carbon free sources of energy, such as hydrogen, through water oxidation catalysis, in collaboration with Prof. A. Llobet or Prof. K. Takanabe, is explored.


Contact info:
Dr. Albert Poater