Research

In the van Gemmeren Lab we are interested in the development of Catalyst Controlled Selective Transformations and Ligand Design.

Our motivation derives from the observation that for many chemical processes the respective scopes are limited by the inherent preferences of the substrates employed or even restricted to specifically engineered substrate classes. This is particularly true in such timely research areas as C–H activation methodologies, but also extends to other areas of synthetic organic chemistry. While C–H activation reactions bear the potential to substantially improve the efficiency of organic synthesis, their inherent advantages are in practice often outweighed by limitations such as the need for complex directing groups (DGs) that have to be introduced into the substrate before the desired reaction and removed again afterwards. Our research program aims to address this situation and develop C–H activation processes that do not suffer from these limitations, but employ simple, DG-free substrates or simple DGs that occur naturally in the substrate and product structures. To achieve these goals, the group targets the rational design of novel ligands, catalysts, and reaction conditions. Additionally, the group makes use of the cutting-edge screening technologies available at the institute in the optimization of the methodologies developed.

Ultimately, the research conducted in the van Gemmeren Lab aims to open up for novel approaches towards valuable chemical compounds that would otherwise not be accessible with a comparable efficiency.