A New Iron Age: Atom Efficient P-C Bond Forming Reactions with Simple, Designed Iron Catalysts

  • Webster, Ruth (PI)

Project: Research council

Project Details


Catalysis is the process by which chemical reactions are made to run faster at lower temperature. The vast majority of chemical industries rely on developing catalysis therefore making vital industrial processes, fundamental to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and fine chemical industries, easier and more cost efficient. Catalysis allows us to precisely modify chemical structure through the ability to make and break specific chemical bonds. Catalyst design is therefore an incredibly important and vital undertaking: the key to unlocking new reactivity and new bond forming methods. This project looks into the design of catalysts which contain staggeringly simple motifs along with abundant and inexpensive iron centre. Iron is also biocompatible and non-toxic providing a strong foundation for our targeted reaction: hydrophosphination. These reactions allow the synthesis of carbon-phosphorus bonds using efficient reaction conditions, forming key motifs or new architectures with ease. The preparation of phosphorus-containing motifs cannot be underestimated, allowing the preparation of new ligands, organocatalysts and biologically relevant motifs vital to a host of crucial manufacturing sectors. Beyond this we will develop this carbon-phosphorus bond forming chemistry for the preparation of new building blocks to construct non-burning plastics (high value materials used in advanced electronic devices and as commodity chemicals in the flame retardants industries). The aim: * Investigate their potential in 100% atom-economic processes which make molecules relevant to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. * Generate high value chemicals by developing a new route to the building blocks for phosphorus-containing plastics; this new route gives access to new plastics.
Effective start/end date20/04/1519/04/16


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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