Current projects

Phosphinine ligands in catalysis
We are currently developing new catalysts based on 2-phosphinophosphinines. These ligands have intersteing properties including:

  • Pi-acceptance
  • Reduced-strain as a narrow bite-angle chelating ligand
  • Ligand reactivity, including potential Metal-Ligand Cooperativity

We have recently published a paper where a Ru(II) complex of thee ligands was active at room temperature in transfer hydrogenation and ethanol/methanol upgrading to the advanced biofuel isobutanol.

Facilitating dinitrogen and hydrocarbon activation using low valent first row TMs
We are harnessing tripodal phosphinines as platforms to initiate small molecule activation at low valent first row transition metal centres.

Applying tethered ligands to C-H activation
Combining the extremely successful and stable cyclopentadienyl fragment with the unusual properties of an N-heterocyclic stannylene, or strong sigma-donating properties of saturated NHCs, is key to this project. Applications to C-H activation chemistry are being explored.
We have recently described the synthesis of indenyl- and fluorenyl-tethered N-heterocyclic stannylenes as precursors to chelating Rh complexes.