Efficient and selective organic molecular catalysts could make important contributions to the future of the European chemical industry; make major contributions in several areas of industrial importance (notably the discovery of pharmaceuticals). The training provided in these facilitating the synthesis of complex molecules with maximum economy and minimal environmental impact. The proposers wish to apply the new techniques will be of great future benefit to the European chemical community techniques of "combinatorial chemistry" to the development of such catalysts.
They have adopted a generalised design consisting of a scaffold with several attached side-chains, able to act cooperatively on a centrally-located substrate. The scaffold will be immobilised on a polymer support, and the side chains elaborated to yield libraries of structures with potential catalytic properties. Smaller libraries will be tested directly for the desired activity, while larger ones will be "pre-screened" through assessment of binding to transition state analogues. The Network will develop the methodology initially in the context of four sub-programmes, employing complementary technologies and targetted athydrolytic and carbon-carbon bond forming processes. Components for the work will be produced by all eight laboratories and made available throughout the Network.
Funding SchemeNET - Research network contracts
BS8 1TS Bristol, Clifton
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
S3 7HF Sheffield
CB2 1EW Cambridge