Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis

The study of the structure and reactivity of transition metal complexes is a long-established field of research in Dijon, since the pioneering work of Jean Tirouflet on metallocenes in the 1960s.

Nowadays, the properties of the ferrocene moiety are exploited in the synthesis of i) polyphosphine ligands able to stabilise palladium catalysts in cross-coupling or C-H activation reactions ; ii) ambiphilic ligands or frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) containing antagonistic functional groupes (amine/borane, phosphine/borane).

The titanocene moiety is also used for the synthesis of FLPs : however in this case, the metal acts as a Lewis acid. Complexes derived from Nugent's reagent ("Cp2TiCl") are also used as catalysts in several interesting reactions, such as the hydrophosphination of dienes or the allylation of aldehydes. Asymmetric versions of these reactions are being developed, based on the local expertise in the field of P-chirogenic phosphines.

Other families of metal complexes are being studied, not only for their coordination chemistry properties, but also for targeting applications in catalysis or therapeutic chemistry. New families of ligands are thus being developed, with the aim to discover metal-ligand cooperative effects, or to fine-tune enantioselective reactions. New synthetic strategies for heterocycles based on pallado-catalysed C-H activation reactions (direct coupling) with or without ancillary ligands are also being developed.

Organocatalysis is yet another field explored by the team ; current investigations focus on the use of P-chirogenic phosphines or biosourced imidazolium salts as catalysts.

These investigations rely on a wide array of analytical techniques : NMR, EPR, UV-vis and IR spectroscopies, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, cyclic voltammetry, etc. Theoretical chemistry (DFT) is also an important tool.

People involved: R. Amardeil (MCF uB), J. Andrieu (MCF uB, HDR),C. Balan (AT uB),  J. Bayardon (MCF uB, HDR), E. Bodio (MCF uB, HDR), V. Comte-Candas (MCF uB), J.-C. Hierso (PR uB), Sylvain Jugé (PR émérite uB), P. Le Gendre (PR uB), R. Malacea-Kabbara (CR CNRS, HDR), A. Normand (CR CNRS), Michel Picquet (MCF uB), N. Pirio (PR uB), D. Poinsot (AI CNRS), J. Roger (MCF uB).