Research objectives and content
Coordinatively unsaturated carbeneruthenium complexes have been the subject of intense research due to their high activity as catalysts for olefin metathesis. These complexes have been prepared using cyclopropenes or diazoalkanes as carbene-generating reagents. A new and versaltile synthetic route to such kind of complexes has been recently developed at Prof. Werner's group. This method involves the use of terminal alkynes and we consider it much more convenient since terminal alkynes are more easily accesible than cyclopropenes or diazoalkanes. Taking advantage of this new method, the research work will focus on the synthesis of new ruthenium catalysts and the study of their catalytic activity. The development of new well defined catalysts and their use in ring opening methatesis polimerization would provide access to new polymers with controlled structure and properties. The main objectives of the research work will be the following:
1. Improvement of the synthesis of carbeneruthenium complexes from commercial ruthenium trichloride as precursor. A more simple and direct method would be important for catalytic reactions on a large scale. 2. 'Fine-tuning' of the catalytic activity of the ruthenium complexes by variation and/or replacement of the different ligands attached to ruthenium.
3. Preparation and study of the catalytic activity of analogous osmium complexes. 4. Mechanistic studies of the catalytic reactions. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
This project involves: I) synthesis of new complexes, 2) characterization of the complexes obtained by spectroscopic methods and X-ray crystallography, 3) design and development of new catalytical processes, 4) mechanistic studies, and 5) adaptation of research objectives to industry demands. It will thus provide training in modern methods of synthesis and spectroscopic techniques. It will also provide a deep knowledge in the field of catalysis as an industry relevant subject.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Collaboration with a research group in industry (BASF) has been planned.