SDG group members

We develop new catalytic tools and conditions for the convenient creation of molecular complexity

About Us

Our main research interest resides in the development of well-defined metal-based species and their use in organic reactions of broad interest. We develop novel families of complexes, active in catalysis, while unveiling their activation/reactivity modes. Our ultimate goal is to identify better performing catalysts, more sustainable synthetic approaches and deeper understanding of the reaction pathways.

Within the Department, we are part of the Synthesis and Catalysis and the Environmental and Green Chemistry themes.

iCASE PhD Studentship Available

Unlocking the Full Potential of Deep Eutectic Solvent in Synthesis

An EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship in collaboration with Astra Zeneca on ‘Unlocking the Full potential of Deep Eutectic Solvents in Synthesis’ is available under the supervision of Dr Silvia Diez-Gonzalez.

Aim and Project Summary

The aim of the project is to understand the key parameters that positively influence organic reactions in DES to fully capitalize the promise of these solvents and hence unveil new and exciting reactivity.

Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) are mixtures of safe solids that become liquid upon mixing thanks to intermolecular interactions (hydrogen-bonding). DES overcome the health and safety shortcomings of standard organic solvents (petroleum-derived, polluting, volatile, flammable…). Strikingly, they can also have a significant, unexpected impact on the outcome of chemical reactions (yield, selectivity), although the origin of such effects is not understood. By parametrising and rationalising the role of DES in synthesis, we will seize the unprecedented opportunity to access more sustainable and efficient ways of creating useful molecules without additional costly chemicals or niche technologies, only naturally abundant and biodegradable compounds.


Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least an Upper Second Class degree (but preferably a First Class degree)  or equivalent in Chemistry.

Funding Notes

Candidates must have a Home (UK) fee status. The studentship will cover tuition fees (home rate) and a stipend (plus London allowance) for 4 years and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2022. A three-mont placement at Astra Zeneca is also covered.

How to apply

Prospective students should send a CV and cover letter to Dr Silvia Diez-Gonzalez. The position will be advertised until a suitable candidate is identified. Informal enquiries are also welcomed and encouraged.