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Switchable colloidal organocatalysts based on responsive microgels (Microgelzymes)
 
focuses on the synthesis of enzyme-inspired microgel-based catalysts (microgelzymes) and investigation of their properties for applications in liquid-phase conversion processes. The incorporation of catalytically active functional groups (organocatalysts), design of binding sites as well as the control over their spatial distribution and local chemical environment in the microgel network will determine the performance of microgelzymes in different catalytic processes. We will focus on chemical design of microgelzymes with statistical and core-shell distribution of active sites and functional groups and subsequently explore new microgel morphologies (core-shell, hollow particles) to develop new microgel organocatalysts with multiple compartments for accomplishing different organocatalytic reactions (desymmetrisation of anhydrides or C-C coupling) in a simultaneous or sequential fashion. Variation of the microgel’s morphology, mesh size, swelling degree, chemical structure and architecture as well as sensitivity to external stimuli (T, pH, solvents) will allow correlation of the internal structure of microgels with catalytic activity to afford novel adaptable catalysts with improved performance. Finally, microgelzymes with designed structure and stimuli responsiveness will be employed in asymmetric catalysis and synthesis in different solvents like water, alcohols, ethers etc. Various liquid-phase processes will be studied with regard to reaction yields, selectivity, chemical stability and recyclability.focuses on the synthesis of enzyme-inspired microgel-based catalysts (microgelzymes) and investigation of their properties for applications in liquid-phase conversion processes. The incorporation of catalytically active functional groups (organocatalysts), design of binding sites as well as the control over their spatial distribution and local chemical environment in the microgel network will determine the performance of microgelzymes in different catalytic processes. We will focus on chemical design of microgelzymes with statistical and core-shell distribution of active sites and functional groups and subsequently explore new microgel morphologies (core-shell, hollow particles) to develop new microgel organocatalysts with multiple compartments for accomplishing different organocatalytic reactions (desymmetrisation of anhydrides or C-C coupling) in a simultaneous or sequential fashion. Variation of the microgel’s morphology, mesh size, swelling degree, chemical structure and architecture as well as sensitivity to external stimuli (T, pH, solvents) will allow correlation of the internal structure of microgels with catalytic activity to afford novel adaptable catalysts with improved performance. Finally, microgelzymes with designed structure and stimuli responsiveness will be employed in asymmetric catalysis and synthesis in different solvents like water, alcohols, ethers etc. Various liquid-phase processes will be studied with regard to reaction yields, selectivity, chemical stability and recyclability.
 
Principle Investigators:
 
Rueping, Magnus, Prof. Dr.
Institut für Organische Chemie
RWTH Aachen University
+49 241 80-94686
magnus.rueping@rwth-aachen.de
 
Pich, Andrij, Prof. Dr.
Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie
RWTH Aachen University
+49 241 80-23350
pich@dwi.rwth-aachen.de