Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GOLDCLUSTER (Polynuclear Gold Catalysis)
Reporting period: 2016-06-27 to 2018-06-26
During the last decade, homogeneous gold catalysis has witnessed rapid growth for C–C bond forming reactions. Most of the gold catalysts used in these reactions were mononuclear complexes. Despite some pioneer work, the study of well-defined small gold clusters remains largely unexplored. In this project, we planned to prepare new types of highly electrophilic small gold clusters (3-8 Au atoms) with potentially enhanced catalytic properties that could have a significant impact in the advancement of the gold catalysis field and the development of more efficient and environmentally friendly synthetic methods.
•Why is it important for society?
One of the main challenges that the European chemical industry (one of the biggest in Europe) is facing nowadays is the reduction of the energy consumption of the chemical processes. Although the amount of energy consumed in 2012 was 16% less than in 1990, the fuel and power consumption of the EU chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, amounted to 56.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE). The long-term objective of this project is to contribute to the development of low energy efficient procedures (lower reaction temperature, more efficient catalysts, and better yields), which could be adapted by the Chemical Industry, making the European economy more competitive and better aligned with the Horizon2020 growth strategy. Working in a new area of development could lead to discover breaking advances in catalysis, adding to excellence in the research European area and opening new opportunities for me and the future steps in my career.
•What are the overall objectives?
GOLDCLUSTER aims at advancing the field of gold chemistry. The major goal is to develop small polynuclear gold clusters as new superelectrophilic gold(I) catalysts and then explore their catalytic reactivity in organic transformations for the construction of molecular complexity using relatively simple starting materials.
On the personal side, I have increased my capacities as a researcher while executing this project with the acquisition of complementary scientific skills (synthesis of Au complexes, increasing organometallic knowledge and skills, X-ray analysis, etc.) and non-scientific skills (research project management and scientific writing/presentation skills, industrial environment awareness, IPR management and science outreach). I presented my research results as posters (with the acknowledgements to the Marie Curie Grant) on 4 International conferences: XXXVI Biennial Meeting - Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry; 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition; German-Spanish Symposium on Frontiers in Chemistry and Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) School. On the one hand, I improved my communication skills and had the chance to exchange ideas with people who work on different research field; on the other hand, I took the responsibility for the dissemination of MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS. Altogether, after the realization of GOLDCLUSTER, I have obtained essential skills to undertake the next step in my research career: leading my own research projects. All in all, GOLDCLUSTER has advanced the field of gold chemistry, meanwhile, the researcher has obtained essential skills for his independent research career.