The philosophy of our research is based on a fruitful interplay of several objectives (a) the synthesis of biologically relevant molecules, (b) asymmetric methodologies using organic and organometallic chemistry, (c) organofluorine chemistry and (d) application of the objectives to industrial problems, which led to strong industrial collaborations.
Our team focuses on three research areas: 1) we have a strong international recognition in the axis “Heterochemistry“, principally fluorine chemistry, where we develop mild methods for introducing emerging fluorinated groups into organic molecules. The motivations of the work in this area are based on the modification of the physical, chemical and biological properties of bioactive compounds induced by the presence of these substituents. This is done largely in the context of a joint CNRS-Unistra-Bayer laboratory. The discovery of new and mild methodologies to introduce fluorine atoms or emergent fluorinated groups (OCF3, CHF2, SF5…) onto heterocycles as well as their stereoselective introduction onto Csp3-centers is a key topic of this research. 2) The second axis, “Organometallic Chemistry” develops methods, stereoselective or not, to synthesize molecules difficult to access by other processes, via mainly polar organometallic chemistry, but also transition metal catalysis. The development of environmentally friendly approaches for molecular diversity is an important issue and represents a common denominator to the other 2 axes. We have notably developed the regio- and stereoselective synthesis of biaryls based on a transition metal-free coupling protocols (“ARYNE”-coupling) with application in catalysis and pharmaceutical research. 3) The third axis is interested in chiral “Frustrated Lewis Pairs” (FLPs) as new species, non-metallic, potentially able to compete with transition metals in areas previously restricted to them, like for example catalytic hydrogenation as the most striking example.
These three research axes are interconnected, since methods that are developed in a specific axis are often used in others. Moreover, the control of chirality is a common feature of the three axes pursued by the COHA group. For the most recent news about our research, follow us on Twitter or on our personal pages.
Team Leader – Research director