CHEM40140 Modern Methods and Applications of Catalysis

Academic Year 2024/2025

Modern Methods and Applications of Catalysis.This module will introduce students to recent developments in catalytic chemistry of use in synthetic chemistry. Many transition metals mediate synthetic transformations and the most useful are those that do so using catalytic amounts of metal, normally bound to ligands which help to solubilise the complexes. The ligands employed also can serve to accelerate catalysis and in special cases can be of use in asymmetric synthesis. This course is divided into three sections, the first of which describes the applications of Pd-catalysis to modern organic synthesis. Emphasis will be placed on Heck reaction, cross-couplings, aryl aminations and ether formations, CO insertions and allylic substitution. The second section features recent advances in hydroformylation and olefin metathesis. The final section outlines the applications and mechanisms of organocatalysis, with an emphasis on asymmetric transformations.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

a) describe the applications of Pd-catalysis to modern organic synthesis;
b) outline catalytic cycles for the full range of Pd-catalysed couplings (Heck reaction, cross-couplings, arly aminations and ether formations, CO insertions and allylic substitutions;
c) understand the applications and mechanisms of ring closing metathesis, ring opening metathesis and their use in synthetic chemistry;
d) outline selectivity for the formation of linear aldehydes in hydroformylation reactions,
e) describe the development of asymmetric organocatalysis, with an emphasis on iminium ion and enamine chamistry

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, problem sets. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

This module is intended for students in the final year of an Honours Chemistry degree program or post graduate students in a Chemical discipline. Other students wishing to take this module must have a comparable background in chemistry and must consult the School.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
CHEM40790 - Modern catalysis, taught MSc

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The feedback on continuous assessment will be based on (a) two tutorial problem sets from Prof. Guiry's course; (b) one problem set from Dr Risse and (c) one problem set from Dr McGarrigle (in that sequence). Assignments submitted will be graded and returned as well as having a live class to discuss the problem sets.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Eoghan McGarrigle Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Wilhelm Risse Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor James Sullivan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer