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Vidi grant for Johannes Klein

29 June 2023
Johannes Klein
Johannes Klein

Johannes Klein has been awarded an NWO Vidi grant for his project “Multi-State Reactivity in Gold Catalysis: Breaking Bonds by Breaking Conventions” where he will investigate the troubled relationship between the elements gold and oxygen and how this relationship can be remedied to develop new tools for the modification of organic compounds. These new tools will use two gold atoms to create new catalysts and use light to activate them. In these catalysts the two gold centres will communicate with each other to jointly convince oxygen-based ligands to participate in new reactions.

Gold catalysis provides an impressive array of molecular transformations. It enables the rapid increase in molecular complexity predominantly through mechanisms in which the metal does not undergo changes in oxidation state. Indeed, despite that switching oxidation state during reactions is a key property of transition metals used extensively in catalysis, transformations that proceed via single electron transfer reactions are uncommon in gold chemistry, with only a few examples to date. In this project, the Klein group will develop new strategies in homogenous oxidation catalysis with dinuclear gold complexes in which metal-metal interactions will be harnessed to go beyond the capabilities of contemporary mononuclear gold complexes. Thermal and light driven activation of these complexes will provide access to novel reactivity profiles on both singlet and triplet potential energy surfaces.

The opening of these reactivity profiles for gold catalysis will provide access to new reactivity that breaks with the convention that molecular gold complexes do not readily engage in oxidation catalysis through combining the ease of modification of molecular systems together with metal-metal interactions.

Last modified:29 June 2023 1.09 p.m.

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