Lecturer: Dr Valentin Rodionov
Location: Faculty Seminar Room
Nature’s enzymes are extremely efficient catalysts. Their remarkable properties result from precise preorganization of the local environment and functional groups around the catalytic sites, and close participation of metal ions, prosthetic groups and cofactors. Enzyme-inspired nanoscale catalysts, including dendrimers, functional polymers, and supramolecular assemblies, have been the subject of intensive investigation. Like enzymes, many of these chemist-designed catalysts feature spatially pre-organized functional groups, hydrophobic interiors/hydrophilic exteriors, and catalytic sites isolated from the bulk solvent.
Micelles and emulsion droplets are some of the simplest and most versatile systems of this kind. In this presentation, I shall discuss several examples enzyme-inspired macromolecules and functional surfactants, both organocatalytic and bearing metal catalytic sites, described recently by our group. The catalytic activities and properties of such systems are often unattainable with small-molecule versions of the same catalytic moieties