Graduate School of Engineering Division of Applied Chemistry Molecular Chemistry Area
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We are performing basic and applied studies on transformation of various organic molecules derived from petroleum and coal. The major objectives of our research group are to develop (1) new, efficient strategies for the synthesis of organic fine chemicals including pharmaceutical intermediates and π-conjugated functional materials and (2) high-performance catalysts that enable effective functionalization of organic molecules.
Our research interests involves the invention of new synthetic methodologies, with a particular emphasis on the design and development of novel catalytic system by taking advantage of unique features of transition metal complexes. A particular focus is the development of catalytic technologies for the activation and transformation of unreactive bonds, such as C-H, C-C, C-O, C-N, C-Si, C-P, and C-S Bonds.
With three main keywords of chirality, photon, and entropy, we pursue the photochirogenesis, or the photochemical induction of molecular chirality, with the aid of experiment and theory. We focus on (1) asymmetric photoreaction with chiral catalysts or sensitizers, (2) supramolecular asymmetric photochemistry using chiral hosts such as modified zeolite, cyclodextrin, and proteins, and (3) the relevant thermodynamics on supramolecular systems, where supramolecular interactions, i.e., hydrogen bonding, dipole-dipole, van der Waals, charge-transfer, and hydrophobic interactions, play vital roles.
Associate Professor MATSUSAKI Michiya
In our laboratory, we design and create high performance compounds on the basis of synthetic organic chemistry in consideration of developments at an industrial level. We promote the development of environmentally-benign high performance materials, which are safe for internal and surrounding living environments, by the chemical modification of oligomers, polymers, their assemblies, and synthetic macromolecules derived from biomaterials such as saccharides, amino acids, protein, and lactic acid.
Our research is currently focused on designing a methodology for organic synthesis using novel organometallics and catalyst systems. Novel reactive organometallic species have been isolated and characterized based on spectroscopic methodology and X-ray crystallographic analysis. These species have been applied to the synthesis of functionalized organic compounds. Our group also focuses on utilizing characteristic Lewis acids in the conversion of carbon resources to valuable organic compounds. Metal complexes that have cage-shaped organic ligands are synthesized and used for new types of selective reactions for practical organic syntheses. We also target functionalized materials that are based on organic compounds with novel physical properties and special intramolecular interactions. All projects are supported by organic synthetic approaches that extend to various fields of chemistry.
Our research programs are focused on the development of new synthetic methods constructing carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds by unique transition metal catalysts. We have developed anionic transition metal complexes and found their unique catalytic activities toward carbon-carbon bond formation through cleavage of unreactive chemical bonds. In addition, we are investigating on new synthetic methods to construct carbon-chalcogen and –fluorine bonds with the concomitant formation of a carbon-carbon bond and transformation of abundant carbon resources.
One of the major interests of our research is focused on the development of a transition metal-mediated selective transformation of polyfluorinated compounds such as tetrafluoroethylene (TFE). We have also been focusing on nickel-catalyzed transformation reactions via a hetero-nickelacycle intermediate as well as on their reaction mechanisms.
Associate Professor SAEKI Akinori
Our research targets are mainly (1) formation of hierarchical nanostructure of soft materials such as polymer, molecule, and organic-inorganic hybrid materials, (2) development of novel measurement technique, and (3) design and synthesis of conjugated materials having optical, electrical, and magnetic response towards application such as organic photovoltaics and transistors. These materials are utilized in nano-structuring and functionalization, which are characterized at single molecular level.