There is increasing pressure from society on environmental issues, and my research is focussed on designing new synthetic methods for developing "clean" organic synthesis. In addition, we are interested in developing novel methods for introducing fluorine selectively into organic compounds.
Our key research interest is in the design and synthesis of low-valent transition metal complexes, with novel stoichiometric and catalytic reactivity, inspired by the active sites of natural metalloenzymes. The development of these complexes stems from fundamental ligand design concepts, by control of complex nuclearity (mono- and multi-metallic systems), chemical environment around each metal (donor atom type), and intermetallic cooperativity (metal-metal distance). By understanding the fundamental structure and bonding of these complexes, we aim to uncover new stoichiometric reactivity with small molecules (CO2, N2, H2, etc.) as environmentally-friendly chemical precursors. Our multidisciplinary approach combines synthetic organometallic chemistry with surface science, bio-inorganic and electrochemistry.