Research in the Giambastiani Group is focused on the molecular design and synthesis of innovative single-site catalysts and catalytic materials for sustainable homogeneous and/or heterogeneous processes. One main interest stems from the preparation of molecular organometallics based on either early or late transition metals and lanthanides for applications in selective and industrially relevant catalytic processes for materials (olefin oligomerization, polymerization and co-polymerization) and commodities (hydroaminations). Another central topic in this research team is that of the controlled functionalization/decoration of complex 1D and 2D carbon nanomaterials [CNTs, graphene and graphene oxide (GO)] and hybrid organic-inorganic coordination polymers (including MOFs) as smart and functional materials for drug delivery and sustainable heterogeneous catalytic applications. In particular, the development of sustainable metal-free catalytic materials for promoting processes at the heart of renewable technologies like ORR is sought out.

  • Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis. 

The research activity in the field is mainly focused on the design and synthesis of novel N-containing ligands and their combination with early/late transition metals and lanthanides, the investigation of their organometallic reactivity as well as their ability at promoting homogeneous processes efficiently.

For a selection of recent publications on the topic see:

Metal-to-Ligand Alkylation Inducing Carbon-Sulfur Bond Cleavage on Dialkylyttrium Catalysts Supported by Thiazole Containing Amidopyridinate Ligands: Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic activity in the Intramolecular Hydroamination Reaction
Chem.–Eur. J., 2014, 20, 3487–3499.

Cationic Group-IV Pincer-type Complexes for Polymerization and Hydroamination Catalysis Dalton Trans., 2013, 42, 16056-16065.

Group-IV Organometallics Based on Dianionic “Pincer” Ligands: Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic Activity in Intramolecular Hydroamination Reactions Chem.–Eur. J., 2013, 19, 4906-4921.

Intramolecular Hydroamination Reactions Catalyzed by Neutral and Cationic Group-IV Pyridylamido Complexes ChemCatChem, 2013, 5, 1142-1151.

Facing Unexpected Reactivity Paths with ZrIV-Amidopyridinate Polymerization Catalysts Chem.–Eur. J., 2012, 18, 671-687.

New Functionalized Vinyl Monomers by Ethylene-(Functionalized)Norbornene Hetero-Trimerization Catalyzed by Cobalt(II)-(Imino)pyridine Complexes Adv. Synth. Catal., 2008, 350, 1855-1866.

Electronic Influence of the Thienyl Sulfur Atom on the Oligomerization of Ethylene by 6-(Thienyl)-2-(imino)pyridine Cobalt(II) Catalysis Organometallics, 2007, 26, 726-739.

  • Smart Functional Materials and Light-Doped, Nanocarbon-based Metal-Free Electrocatalysts.

This research topic focuses on the organic functionalization of complex carbon-based 1D and 2D nanostructures as well as organic-inorganic coordination polymers (including MOFs). Besides representing a general research subject within materials chemistry, this activity aims at re-thinking fundamental PG metal-based catalytic processes in light of tailored metal-free catalytic architectures designed and fabricated from either light hetero-element (N, B, P) doped nanosystems or non-noble metal-based porous materials.

For a selection of recent publications on the topic see:

Chemically Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes with Pyridine Groups as Easily Tunable N-decorated Nanomaterials for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Medium Chem. Mater., 2014, 26, 3460–3470.

A Chiral Co(II)-based Metal-Organic Framework in the Heterogeneous Catalytic Oxidation of alkenes: a combined DFT and TPD-MS study of dioxygen activation by the exposed metal sites ACS Catalysis., 2014, 4, 1032-1039.

Tailoring Carbon Nanotube N-Dopants while Designing Metal-Free Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Medium ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3, 2108–2111.

"Click” on MOFs: a Versatile Tool for the Multimodal Derivatization of N3-decorated Metal Organic Frameworks Chem. Mater., 2013, 25, 2297-2308.

Intercalation of xylylene-diamine in graphene oxide: Towards pillared graphene-based structures Carbon, 2013, 59, 100-108.

“Click” on Tubes: a Versatile Approach Towards Multimodal Functionalization of SWCNTs” Chem.–Eur. J., 2012, 18, 8454–8463.