The world and the people living on our planet depend on
catalysis for their life, well-being and development.
A lot of catalysts, be it in (living) bio-systems or in
chemical processes in industrial plants, exploit the central
role that a metal atom or particle, surrounded by its
specific environment (ligands), can play in chemical reactions.
It can influence the rate at which a reaction proceeds (speed
it up or slow it down). Specifically, it accelerates some
reactions and retards other and in this way selectivity for a
certain outcome of the reaction is obtained. We can influence
this when we have knowledge about the system and in this way we
and the catalyst are at thedriver-seat of numerous chemical
reactions. It is the choice of metal and its ligand
environment that dictate the way in which the catalyst enables
a reaction and blocks other possibilities.
Using the tools of MolecularChemistry we are able to influence the structure of catalysts and to steer their(re)activity.
The research group that I have the privilege to be part of is one of the two groups in the Catalysis section of the "Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences" (FNWI). We focus on Molecular Chemistry with special attention for Inorganic, Organometallic chemistry and Catalysis.
In order to understand and extend the knowledge in this
area, I am working on aspects of catalysis and organometallic
chemistry, that is the chemistry of metals surrounded by one or
more organic groups (ligands). More specifically, I am very
interested in the following interrelated topics: