The group’s research interests broadly span the areas of synthetic organometallic, organophosphorus and co-ordination chemistry with much of their work focusing on the preparation and characterisation of transition metal complexes and functionalised organic and heteroatom-containing ligands. This is driven by the potential application of these species in industrially relevant small molecule catalysis. On-going targets include the development of new initiator systems for olefin oligomerisation, polymerisation, copolymerisation, small molecule activation and the utilisation of innovative and sustainable bio-derived feedstocks for chemicals manufacture.
Many of the synthetic procedures used involve working with air and moisture sensitive materials that are handled using inert atmosphere glove-box and Schlenk-line techniques. Routine use is made of many spectroscopic and analytical techniques including IR, 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy; mass spectrometry; and X-ray crystallography. In particular, 31P NMR spectroscopy is used extensively as it lends itself very effectively to the in situ monitoring of reactions and makes an excellent diagnostic probe for compound characterisation.