New sustainable catalytic strategies which allow expedient access to structurally complex scaffolds from simple easily accessible precursors is a highly desirable goal in modern synthetic chemistry. The group focusses on generating a firm understanding of reactivity at the molecular level through in depth mechanistic analyses via various spectroscopic methods. These serve as a guiding principle for novel reaction design by translating the knowledge of reactivity to operationally simple synthetic methods in a laboratory paradigm. There are two key areas the group look to investigate:
Organoboron motifs hold a privileged role in synthetic organic chemistry particularly due to their versatility as a functional group, with many landmark transformations already well-established. The group is currently focused on synthetic strategies which transcend all reactivity aspects of organoboron chemistry including methods which incorporate or retain the boron functionality. This enables access to small 3D fragments as well as structurally complex carbogenic frameworks bearing a boron linchpin for downstream synthetic manipulations.
The use of light as a cost-effective energy source to elicit chemical transformations has become an area of great interest. Compounds which absorb light and enable subsequent photochemical processes such as energy transfer or photo-induced electron transfer represent a sustainable strategy for future synthetic methods. The group looks to develop new transformative photocatalytic protocols which allow simple feedstock molecules to be readily converted into significantly more synthetically useful frameworks.