Research projects at ICCOM



Ph.D. position (shared with UAL), starting date July 2006

Olefin metathesis is a catalytic process in which alkenes are transformed into new products by rupture and reconstruction of carbon-carbon double bonds. The fundamental features of the process bring it forward in the world scenery of advanced chemical research, which is addressed to develop selective and clean processes, in light of the environmental constraints which have become more and more rigorous.
During last decade, the opportunities to use olefin metathesis in synthetic organic chemistry have grown enormously, due to the introduction of well defined and functional-group-tolerant catalysts exemplified by the Grubbs catalyst [RuCl2(=CHPh)(PCy3)2]. Current work in our laboratory is aimed at investigating the catalytic reactions bringing about alkene metathesis in water as well as exploring the synthetic scope of  highly accessible Ru-based water-soluble unsaturated carbenes. In this respect, particular attention is being paid to investigate the tolerability of the process to different polar functional groups.
The project will suit a Ph.D. candidate working in 18 months in Florence (CNR) and 15 months in Almeria (UAL) and will involve synthesis (UAL) and testing (CNR) of new water soluble low valent transition metal vinylidenes and allenylidenes in homogeneous water phase metathesis reactions and related mechanistic studies.
Requirements: basic expertise in organic and organometallic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy; GC, GC-MS and HPLC analyses. Knowledge of homogeneous catalysis is not required but welcome. Envisaged partners: UAL


Postdoctoral position, starting date July 2004, duration 6 months - POSITION FILLED IN

The project is destined to a Postdoctoral Fellow and will involve the synthesis and characterization of new water soluble Ru and Re high valent oxo complexes for use as homogeneous catalysts in selective oxygen transfer reactions. Water solubility will be achieved by choosing the appropriate set of ancillary ligands (mainly N-based) which will either be synthesized in our group or obtained from the partner groups within the network. The complexes will be tested for the activation of H2O2, alkyl hydroperoxides and other stoichiometric oxidants, to verify the activity on oxygen transfer reactions to substrates of interest such as organic sulfides and sulfoxides, benzothiophenes (oxidative HDS), steroids, alkenes and carbohydrates.
Requirements: Ph.D. in organometallic synthesis, expertise in NMR, IR, UV-vis spectroscopies, GC, GC-MS and HPLC analyses. Knowledge of homogeneous catalysis is not required but welcome. Envisaged partners: CNRS-LCC.

1) Akbayeva, D.; Gonsalvi, L.; Oberhauser, W.; Peruzzini, M.; Vizza, F.; Brüggeller, P.; Romerosa, A.; Sava, G.; Bergamo, A.
"Synthesis, catalytic properties and biological activity of new water soluble ruthenium cyclopentadienyl PTA complexes [(C5R5)Ru(PTA)2Cl] (R = H, Me; PTA = 1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane)", Chem. Commun. 2003, 264-265.

2) Saoud, M.; Romerosa, A.; Peruzzini, M.
"Water Soluble Ruthenium Vinylidene and Allenylidene Complexes: Potential Catalysts for Ring-Opening Metathesis", Organometallics, 2000, 19, 4005-4007.

3) Saoud, M.; Romerosa, A.; Mañas Carpio, S.; Gonsalvi, L.; Peruzzini, M.
"Ruthenium-catalysed selective transetherification of substituted vinyl ethers to acetals and aldehydes", Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2003, 1614 - 1619.

Baucherel, X.; Gonsalvi, L.; Arends, I. W. C. E.; Ellwood, S.; Sheldon, R. A.

"Aerobic oxidation of cycloalkanes, alcohols and ethylbenzene catalyzed by the novel carbon radical chain promoter NHS (N-hydroxy saccharin)", Adv. Synth. Catal. 2004, 346, 286-296.

Cost of living in the Florence/Sesto Fiorentino Area
- self contained furnished flat, Florence or Sesto, average 600 €/month excl. bills
- furnished room in a shared flat, from 3 to 4 people, Florence or Sesto, range 300-400 €/month excl. bills depending on area.
A number of hostels allow temporary accommodation
Other living expenses: around 300 €/month.


Dr. Maurizio Peruzzini and Dr. Luca Gonsalvi
Istituto di Chimica dei Composti Organometallici (ICCOM)
Area di Ricerca del CNR,  Via Madonna del Piano
50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy
phone (Q)         +39 055 5225 289
mobile         +39-328 8163836
fax               +39 055 5225 203
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