About Us

Welcome and Thank you for visiting the homepage of the Huynh Group at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Our research is centered on the chemistry of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) and related strong donor ligands. In connection with this prime focus, we are also broadly interested in the general chemistry of N-heterocycles, which are important building blocks for many types of ligands and also active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Our research is interdisciplinary and combines organic and organometallic chemistry as well as homogeneous catalysis. In general, we design and explore the properties of various N-heterocyclic compounds and study their applications in organic, bioorganometallic, physical-organic and coordination chemistry.


Of specific interest are the following topics:

Synthetic Organometallic Chemistry
- N-heterocyclic carbenes as ligands for transition metal complexes
- Mesoionic N-heterocycles as ligands for transition metal complexes
- Organometallic complexes as cytotoxic agents (bioorganometallic chemistry)

Organic methodologies
- N-alkylation and N-arylation reactions
- Ring expansion reactions of N-heterocycles
- Ring closing reactions of N-heterocycles
- Ring opening reactions of N-heterocycles

Homogeneous catalysis
- Alcohol activation: We use alcohols as “electrophiles” to prepare substituted amides, amines and other nitrogen compounds with release of water
- Hydroelementations: 100% atom efficient addition of amines, alcohols, etc. across double or triple bonds to make new amines, ethers, etc.
- C-H activation: Preparation of substituted aromatic compounds via C–H activation using transition metal complexes
- Cooperative catalysis: combining organo- and transition-metal catalysis, catalysis by two or more metals, combining photocatalysis with organo- or transition metal catalysis

Training & Deliverables

Ph.D. Students
M.Sc. Students
Honours Students
UROPS Students
Academic Visitors

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