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Fig 2 upper


Main Group Bond Activation


Group 13 ligands




Anion Binding/Detection


Frustrated Lewis Pairs





The main thrust of much of our work involves the synthesis of novel organometallic complexes, investigation of their underlying electronic structure and delineation of fundamental patterns of reactivity. Recent work is focussed in four main areas (see links to further information on the left):

Systems for small molecule activation/catalysis featuring Main Group elements as the active site

Group 13-based ligand systems: investigating structure/reactivity profiles and tuning ligand properties with particular relevance to the highly donating boryl ligand class

Design and applications of low-coordinate complexes stabilized by N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) and related strongly donating ligands

Lewis acids and acid/base pairs (Frustrated Lewis Pairs) with applications in detection and sensing technologies for anions and neutral molecules


Recent highlights in these areas include

Isolation of highly reactive Main Group systems including first examples of acyclic silylenes and of M(II) radicals for Group 13 [link and link]

Demonstration of the first example of solution-phase equilibrium involving a Main Group FLP system and the corresponding H2 activation product [link]

Catalytic reduction of CO2 to a methanol derivative using a Group 13 metal catalyst [link]

Development of molecular systems for the detection and sensing of nitrous oxide [link and link]



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S Aldridge