Porous single site catalysts for functional group transfer
There is a sharp increase of interest in catalyzing reactions that exchange (functional) groups between donor and acceptor molecules. Exemplary reactions are transfer hydrocyanation, transfer hydroacylation, transfer hydroformylation etc ... . The advantage is that the exchange is thermodynamically feasible, and can proceed in conditions that are much milder and safer than e.g. direct hydrocyanation with HCN. Like classical transfer reactions (e.g. Meerwein reductions or Oppenauer oxidations), the innovative catalytic transfer reactions typically require homogeneous catalysts, including Lewis acids like B- or Al-compounds, or metal complexes, often in relatively large amounts. In order to facilitate purification of the (pharmaceutical) target compound, and to allow recovery of the catalysts, implantation of the active centre in a solid matrix is desirable. The project aims at designing single sites, embedded in porous materials like metal-organic frameworks and zeolites, with a focus on Lewis acids, with the aim of increasing total turnover rates in these transfer reactions.