Anton Vidal-Ferran

Institut Català d'Investigació Química (ICIQ)

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Anton Vidal graduated in Chemical Engineering at the “Institut Químic de Sarrià” in 1987 and completed his PhD on the synthesis of new heterocycles at the same institution in 1992 with Prof. P. Victory. Throughout the two post-doctoral appointments that followed (at the University of Cambridge 1993-1994 with Prof. J.K.M. Sanders and the University of Barcelona 1995-1999 with Prof. M.A. Pericàs) he studied topical and diverse areas of chemistry such as Molecular Recognition, Supramolecular Chemistry and aspects of Enantioselective Catalysis. He had the opportunity to complement his academic background with the industrial experience gained during his tenure in a number of research departments at Bayer-AG (Leverkusen 1999 – 2003). Following the appointment as ICREA Research Professor (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) he started his independent research activities as a Group Leader at the ICIQ in September 2003.

Research interests

Our past and current objectives encompass the Design of Efficient Enantioselective Catalysts for Transformations of Interest, and the study of their use to prepare products with relevance in the life-science sector. We are working in an area of research in which cutting-edge chemistry combines concepts from supramolecular and physical organic chemistry with traditional approaches from enantioselective catalysis. Crucial aspects of this work include modular design of the catalysts; use of versatile synthetic procedures; incorporation of regulation mechanisms to optimize the geometry of the catalyst’s active-site; and computational study of their catalytic cycles (through collaborations).

Selected publications

– Rovira L, Fernández-Pérez H & Vidal-Ferran A 2016, ‘Palladium-Based Supramolecularly Regulated Catalysts for Asymmetric Allylic Substitutions’, Organometallics, 35, 528-533.

– Fernández-Pérez H, Lao JR & Vidal-Ferran A 2016, ‘Stereoselective Rh-Catalyzed Hydrogenative Desymmetrization of Achiral Substituted 1,4-Dienes’, Org. Lett., 18, 2836 – 2839.

– Balakrishna B, Bauzá A, Frontera A & Vidal-Ferran A 2016, ‘Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Seven-Membered C=N-containing Heterocycles and Rationalization of the Enantioselectivity’, Chem. – Eur. J., 22, 10607 – 10613.

– Balakrishna B & Vidal-Ferran A 2016, ‘A Practical Synthesis of Rhodium Precatalysts for Enantioselective Hydrogenative Transformations’, Synthesis, 48, 997-1001.

– Desmarchelier A, Caumes X, Raynal M, Vidal-Ferran A, van Leeuwen PWNM & Bouteiller L 2016, ‘Correlation between the Selectivity and the Structure of an Asymmetric Catalyst Built on a Chirally Amplified Supramolecular Helical Scaffold’, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 4908 – 4916.

– Vaquero M, Rovira L & Vidal-Ferran A 2016, ‘Supramolecularly fine-regulated enantioselective catalysts’, Chem. Commun., 52, 11038 – 11051.

Selected research activities

Selection of Invited Talks:

  • 21st International Conference on Phosphorus Chemistry (ICPC 2016), “Rh-P-OP and Ir-P-OP-Mediated Asymmetric Hydrogenations: Beyond Typical Substrates”, Kazan, June 2016.
  • Seminar programme of the van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (University of Amsterdam), “Efficient Ligand Platforms for Enantioselective Catalysis”, Amsterdam, February 2016.

Visiting Professor at the “Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire (IPCM)” of the “Université Pierre et Marie Curie”, Paris.

Principal investigator in a joint research program with COVESTRO AG on developing new catalysts for transformations of interest.

Evaluator of projects for a number of chemistry panels and reviewer for a number of editorial boards (ACS, Wiley, RSC, etc.).

Student promotions (two PhD students and one Master student at the URV University).