Coordination Chemistry and Asymmetric Homogeneous Catalysis
Manuel Alcarazo joined the University of Göttingen as Professor of Organic Chemistry in December 2015. Information on his current research is available here. The following web page documents the activities of his group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (until 2015).
Research in our group is primarily directed toward the coordination chemistry of main group element in unusual oxidation states, the design of novel “frustrated Lewis pairs” and applications thereof to homogeneous catalysis and organic synthesis.
The goal of this project is the synthesis of extreme π-acceptor phosphines through the introduction of positively charged homo- or heteroaromatic substituents directly attached to the phosphorus atom. By exploiting this property, new Au and Pt catalysts have been developed that display a dramatically enhanced capacity to activate π-systems.
In this area, our research has been strongly inspired by the theoretical work of Frenking about the nature of carbodiphosphorane 1
). His studies revealed that in compound 1
and analogues the central carbon atom retains its four valence electrons that are thus all available for coordination. In fact, carbodiphosphoranes are known to react with two Lewis acids such as AuCl affording diaurated derivatives. However, their ability to donate their four electrons to the same electrophile in a simultaneous σ- and π-donation had not been described.