Professor Paul Kamer

University of St Andrews
School of Chemistry
Purdie Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST
United Kingdom

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The main objective of our research is the development of new catalytic processes. We try to achieve this by studying the relationship between the structure of the catalyst and its performance in catalysis. Our main research interest is in the field of homogeneous catalysis with the aid of transition metal complexes and a broad range of catalytic reactions has been studied. The major activity is in the field of ligand synthesis based on phosphorus donor atoms by rational design assisted by molecular modelling. Ligand design is supported by thorough mechanistic (in-situ) studies of catalytic reactions to acquire insight in structure-activity relations. Besides the study of well-known steric and electronic ligand effects the influence of ligand geometries around the metal centre is a key issue in this research. For example, catalytic reactions can be accelerated by forcing the geometry of the “catalyst” towards a structure that resembles the transition state, as has been proposed for metalloenzymes. This has resulted in novel, very active and (enantio)selective catalysts.


Rational design of diphosphorus ligands – a route to superior catalysts

J. A. Gillespie, D. L. Dodds, P. C. J. Kamer Dalton Trans. 2010, 39, 2751.

DOI: 10.1039/B913778E

Operando Spectroscopy in Catalytic Carbonylation Reactions

O. Diebolt, P. W. N. M. van Leeuwen, P. C. J. Kamer ACS Catalysis 2012, 2, 2357.

DOI: 10.1021/cs300471s

Artificial metalloenzymes via cysteine-selective conjugation of phosphines to Photoactive Yellow Protein

W. Laan, B. K. Muñoz, R. den Heeten, P. C. J. Kamer ChemBioChem 2010, 11, 1236.

DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201000159


Contact details:


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 467285

Visit the Kamer Group site