Anton Vidal-Ferran

Anton Vidal-Ferran

Universitat de Barcelona

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Anton Vidal graduated in Chemistry at the “Institut Químic de Sarrià” in 1987 and completed his PhD at the same institution in 1992 with Prof. P. Victory. Throughout the two post-doctoral appointments that followed (at the University of Cambridge with Prof. J.K.M. Sanders and the University of Barcelona with Prof. M.A. Pericàs) he studied topical and diverse areas of chemistry such as 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). 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. In October 2019, he moved as Research Professor to the Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry at the University of Barcelona.

Research interests

Our current objectives encompass developing efficient, reliable and selective catalytic systems for synthetic transformations of interest, and studying their use to prepare relevant products for the life science and fine chemical sectors. Crucial aspects of this work include the modularity of the catalytic systems, the versatility of the synthetic strategies for their preparation and the incorporation of supramolecular motifs (when appropriate) in the catalyst’s structure to achieve additional function, taking into account the issue of sustainability. In terms of the catalytic transformations under homogeneous conditions that are being studied, our research interests focus on generating value-added products from unsaturated compounds through pivotal chemical transformations such as stereoselective hydrogenations, hydroformylations, hydroalkoxylations, hydrovinylations and hydroborations and C-C couplings on non-halogenated substrates.

Selected publications

- Martínez-Carrión A; Romero-Navarro A, Núñez-Rico JL, Gutiérrez A, Grabulosa A & Vidal-Ferran A, 2022, ‘Valorisation of Mixtures of Linear Alkenes Using Cobalt-Mediated Isomerisation and Hydroformylation Chemistries, Catal. Sci. Technol., 12, 3219–3227.

- González-Galán C, de Fez-Febre M, Giancola S, González-Cobos J, Vidal-Ferran A, Galán-Mascarós JR, Balestra SRG & Calero S, 2022, ‘Separation of Volatile Organic Compounds in TAMOF-1", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 14, 30772-30785.

- Vidal-Ferran A, Grabulosa A, Riera A & Verdaguer X, 2022, ’Asymmetric Hydrogenation’, in ‘Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis’, Ed. by Akiyama T & Ojima I, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ (US), pp 561-616 (ISBN: 9781119736394).

- Raynal M & Vidal-Ferran A, 2022, ’ Supramolecular Regulation in Enantioselective Catalysis’, in Topics in Enantioselective Catalysis. Recent Achievements and Future Challenges’, Ed. by Marinetti A, 1st Edition, World Scientific Publishing Co: Singapore; Vol. 9 in the Series on Chemistry, Energy and the Environment, pp 59-94 (ISBN: 978-981-12-4842-9).

Selected research activities

  • Keynote lecturer at the 22nd International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis, “Distal Regulation in (Stereo)Selective Catalyst” (July 2022, Lisbon), amongst other contributions at conferences.
  • Principal investigator on a collaborative research program with COVESTRO AG for developing benign catalysts for transformations of COVESTRO’s interest.
  • Evaluator of projects for a number of national and international chemistry panels and reviewer of articles for a number of editorial boards.
  • Student promotion: Juanjo Cabezas (PhD Thesis, Rovira i Virgili University) and Gerard Pena  (Masters Thesis, University of Barcelona).
  • Continued funding from MICINN & AGAUR (PID2020-115658GB-I00, PDC2021-120826-I00 and 2021SGR01107) as the principal investigator. Research Group has been receiving the “Consolidated Research Group” status from the Catalan Agency for Academic Research (from 2004).