Anton Vidal-Ferran

Institut Català d'Investigació Química

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

- Carreras L, Rovira L, Vaquero M, Mon I, Martin E, Benet-Buchholz J & Vidal-Ferran A 2017, 'Syntheses, characterisation and solid-state study of alkali and ammonium BArF salts', RSC Advances, 7, 32833 - 32841.

Selected research activities

Ten invited lectures at the seminar programmes in a number of University Departments. Selection:

  • Speaker at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of the Peking University, “Efficient Enantioselective Catalytic Tools for Challenging Hydrogenative Transformations”, Beijing, February 2017.
  • Speaker at the Department of Chemistry of Boston College, “Efficient Ligand Platforms for Enantioselective Catalysis”, Boston, May 2017.

Continued funding from MINECO (CTQ2017-89814-P) as the principal investigator.

Principal investigator on a collaborative research program with COVESTRO AG on developing new catalysts for transformations of COVESTRO’s interest. Filing of one European patent on the identification and development of efficient Zn-based catalysts for the alkoxycarbonylation of anilines (Application number: EP 17 170 988.4).

Evaluator of projects for a number of national and international chemistry panels and reviewer of articles for a number of editorial boards (e.g., ACS, Wiley, RSC, Thieme and Elsevier).

Member of the steering committee of the “International Conference on Phosphorus Chemistry (ICPC)”

Student promotion: Joan Ramon Lao Mulinari (PhD-URV).