Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Please contact me directly for available reserach projects:
uwe.schneider@ed.ac.uk
+44--(0)131--650--4718

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Personal profile

Current Research Interests

Catalysis is an important 'green' key technology in the 21st century, because it is concerned with environment, health, and safety - and thus our society in general. Further significant developments in the field of catalysis rely on the discovery of innovative catalysts, the invention of novel modes for catalytic activation of strong bonds, and the careful elucidation of reaction intermediates and mechanisms involved.

Fundamental studies toward these goals are worthwhile, because unprecedented reactivity and unique selectivity may be uncovered, ultimately leading to new concepts and perspectives in chemistry.

We contribute to this endeavour with an innovative program directed toward the design and development of novel catalysts, with the ultimate goal of streamlining organic synthesis via previously underexplored or unrecognized catalysis. Clearly, we will increase the efficiency of existing reactions, find unprecedented reactivity and selectivity, enable challenging bond formations, and invent fundamentally new reactions.

Another focus of our research is the catalytic activation of strong bonds in small molecules and the development of unprecedented, selective bond transformations in water or alternative 'green' solvents.

The overall theme of our research program is to explore chemical elements in their unusually low-oxidation or low-valence states, because these molecules potentially display intriguing properties readily exploitable in catalysis. These features include 'hidden' LEWIS basicity or acidity and unique LEWIS-ambiphilicity (= 'switchable' acid - base character at a single element center in view of unprecedented dual catalytic activation modes).

The candidates we examine comprise specific low-toxic metals and non-metals. This innovative concept requires critical ligand and counterion design and control for expression and exploitation: (i) in catalysis, (ii) for small molecule activation, and (iii) in 'green' organic media.

My research in a nutshell

We develop innovative 'ambiphilic' catalysts based on low-oxidation metals (Al & Ga) and non-metals (C, Si, N & P).

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