Ranging from the salt-like hydrides of s-block metals to the molecular hydrides of p-block, main group metal hydrides form a versatile class of compounds primarily utilized in chemical synthesis as the hydride transfer agents and as reductants to a range of inorganic and organic substrates. In comparison, the d- and f-block metal hydrides enjoyed much serious attention over the years in catalysis. The last couple of decades however have witnessed a remarkable turnaround with a series of interesting discoveries on molecular main group metal hydrides, lighting up new reactivity and homogeneous catalysis.
Our work is focused upon the development of new catalysts based on main group elements with special emphasis on their molecular hydrides for application in green chemistry, energy related transformation, and the conversion of cheap and abundant raw materials into fine chemicals in bulk amounts. The prime substrates of interest are the polar and nonpolar organic small molecules. Activation of small molecules such as H2, N2, O2, CH4 etc. and carbon feed stock like CO2 and CO has always been in focus, due to the potential conversion of energy stored in them into useful chemicals and materials.
The synthetic approaches include the design of appropriate ancillary ligands for stabilizing metal centers in catalysis and also to isolate reactive intermediates. Furthermore, we are interested in investigating the structure and bonding of new complexes as well as the reaction mechanism in details.