Researchers at UCD


Andrew Phillips


School Of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Science Centre - South
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7162075


Stokes Lecturer, Inorganic Chemistry (September 2008-Present).  
University College of Dublin, Belfield, Ireland. SFI funded position for five year term.
Visiting Professor, Bioinorganic Chemistry (January 2011-Feburary 2011).  

Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Vienna, Wien, Austria. 

Fonctionnaire scientifique (January 2006-July 2008).
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland. European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship with Professor Paul J. Dyson.

European Commission Funded Post-doctoral Fellowship (May 2003-September 2005).

Istituto di Chimica dei Composti Organo Metallici (ICCOM) at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy; (Drs. C. Bianchini, C. Mealli and M. Peruzzini).

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain; (Dr. A. Lledós). Short term scientific exchange.

Laboratoire de Chemie de Coordination at Centre National de La Recherche Scientifque (CNRS) Toulouse, France; (Drs. R. Poli and J.-C. Daran) Short term scientific exchange.

Post-doctorial Fellowship (February 2001-April 2003).
University of California, Davis, California, United States; (Professors P. P. Power and M. Olmstead).

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (July 1996-January 2001).
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; (Professor Neil Burford).

Honours Bachelor in Science (September 1992-June 1996).
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; (Professors David H. Farrar and John Powell).


Honours and Awards

Year: 2008.
Title: Stokes Lectureship
Year: 2006.
Title: Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship
Year: 1997.
Title: Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowship


Association: Royal Chemical Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: American Chemical Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: Swiss Chemical Society, Function/Role: Member


Committee : Safety
Committee : School Management





Book Chapters

Andrew D. Phillips (2014) 'β-Diketiminato complexes of groups 3 to 5' In: Ian J S Fairlamb, Jason M Lynam (eds). Organometallic Chemistry : Volume 39. Cambridge, UK: RSC. , pp.72-147 Available Online [DOI] [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Bandaru, S., English, N. J., Phillips, A. D., MacElroy, J.M.D. (2013) 'Towards the design of novel boron- and nitrogen-substituted ammonia-borane and bifunctional arene ruthenium catalysts for hydrogen storage'. Journal of Computational Chemistry, 35 (12):891-903. [Details]
Schreiber, D.F., O'Connor, C., Grave, C., Müller-Bunz, H., Scopelliti, R., Dyson, P. J., Phillips, A.D. (2013) 'Synthesis, Characterization and Reactivity of the First Osmium β-Diketiminato Complexes and Application in Catalysis'. Organometallics, 32 (24):7345-7356. [Details]
Phillips, Andrew D.; Fei, Zhaofu; Ang, Wee Han; Scopelliti, Rosario; Dyson, Paul J.; (2009) 'A Crystallographic Story of Snakes and Ladders: Encapsulated Water Polymers and Rigid Metal Complexes Based on Mono-N-substituted Carboxylate 4,4'-Bipyridine'. Journal of Crystal Growth, 9 (4):1966-1978. [DOI] [Details]
Moreno, Aitor; Pregosin, Paul S.; Laurenczy, Gabor; Phillips, Andrew D.; Dyson, Paul J.; (2009) 'Influence of Ion Pairing on Styrene Hydrogenation Using a Cationic h 6-Arene b -Diketiminato-Ruthenium Complex'. Organometallics, 28 (22):6432-6441. Available Online [Details]
Renfrew, Anna K.; Phillips, Andrew D.; Tapavicza, Enrico; Scopelliti, Rosario; Rothlisberger, Ursula; Dyson, Paul J. ; (2009) 'Tuning the Efficacy of Ruthenium(II)-Arene (RAPTA) Antitumor Compounds with Fluorinated Arene Ligands'. Organometallics, 28 (17):5061-5071. Available Online [Details]
Phillips, Andrew D.; Zava, Olivier; Scopelitti, Rosario; Nazarov, Alexey A.; Dyson, Paul J.; (2010) 'Rational Design of Highly Cytotoxic η6-Arene β-Diketiminato-Ruthenium Complexes'. Organometallics, 29 (2):417-427. [Details]
Phillips, Andrew D.; Thommes, Katrin; Scopelliti, Rosario; Gandolfi, Claudio; Albrecht, Martin; Severin, Kay; Schreiber, Dominique F.; Dyson, Paul J.; (2011) 'Modulating the steric, electronic, and catalytic properties of Cp* ruthenium half-sandwich complexes with β-diketiminato ligands'. Organometallics, 30 (22):6119-6132. [DOI] [Details]
Christian G. Hartinger, Andrew D. Phillips, Alexey A. Nazarova; (2011) 'Polynuclear Ruthenium, Osmium and Gold Complexes. The Quest for Innovative Anticancer Chemotherapeutics'. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 11 :2688-2702. [Details]
Schreiber, DF,Ortin, Y,Muller-Bunz, H,Phillips, AD; (2011) 'Application of Electron-Withdrawing Coordinatively Unsaturated eta(6)-Arene beta-Diketiminato-Ruthenium Complexes in Lewis Acid Catalyzed Diels-Alder Reactions'. Organometallics, 30 :5381-5395. [DOI] [Details]
Dominique F. Schreiber, Crystal O'Connor, Christian Grave, Yannick Ortin, Helge Müller-Bunz, and Andrew D. Phillips (2012) 'Application of β-Diketiminato Arene-Substituted Ru(II) Complexes in Highly Efficient H2 Dehydrocoupling of Amine Boranes'. Applied Catalysis, 2 :2505-2511. [DOI] [Details]
Renfrew, A. K.,Phillips, A. D.,Egger, A. E.,Hartinger, C. G.,Bosquain, S. S.,Nazarov, A. A.,Keppler, B. K.,Gonsalvi, L.,Peruzzini, M.,Dyson, P. J.; (2009) 'Influence of Structural Variation on the Anticancer Activity of RAPTA-Type Complexes: ptn versus pta'. Organometallics, 28 (4):1165-1172. Available Online [Details]
Phillips, A. D.,Laurenczy, G.,Scopelliti, R.,Dyson, P. J.; (2007) 'Facile, thermoreversible cycloaddition of small molecules to a ruthenium(II) arene beta-diketiminate'. Organometallics, 26 (5):1120-1122. Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

The Phillips' research group is devoted to the promotion of transition metal complexes in the areas of organic-transformations, sustainable energy storage and bioinorganic/bioorganometallic chemistry including metal-based drugs.   Currently, 2/3rd of the group is focused on employing the beta-diketaminiate ligand with ruthenium and osmium metals.  The other half examines coinage metals and their role in antibiotic and anticancer therapy. Anticancer ruthenium complexes is also reoccurring theme, particular enhancing activity through bio-conjugation with natural occurring molecules, such as peptides, amino acids and sugars.

Beta-Diketaminiate (NacNac) Chemistry

Currently, we are designing, constructing and employing a variety of sterically demanding nitrogen based ligands called diketaminiates or NacNac (based on AcAc) which when combined with metals to afford new bifunctionally reactive complexes.  Unique to these complexes is the ability to activate a variety of substrates towards hydrogenation, atom transfer radical reactions, which involve addition of halocarbons to unsaturated C-C bonds.  More recently we have incorporated highly electron withdrawing CF3 groups to enhance the Lewis acid character of the metal centre and promote efficient but mild Diels-Alder reactions.  Recent work highlights the capability to promote retro-Diels-Alder chemistry.

In the context of sustainable chemistry, we examine biphasic reactions in fluorinated hydrocarbons solvents and ionic liquids, and adapt our catalysts accordingly.  We have also entered the field of ammonia-borane dehydrogenation as a safe and efficient method for hydrogen storage. Our technology is currently supported by Enterprise Ireland and SFI-SRC, and has been awarded with two WO-class patents.


Anticancer and Antibacterial Chemistry

Our second research line is focused around the development of new anticancer compounds based on Ru and Os.  Our goal is to build new multi-component organometallic complex with enhanced targeting abilities.  Additionally, the compounds are highly pH selective towards cancer cell.  Using the latest techniques in fluorescent microscopy, biotransformations of the complexes are analysed in real time. We generally employ water-soluble and bio-active phosphines to support metal bio-transport to target systems.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Development of environmental friendly catalytic processes and anticancer complexes.
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-08 / 30-AUG-13
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Advanced Biomimetic Materials for Solar Energy Conversion R10797K
Start Date / End Date : 01-DEC-10 / 31-MAY-13
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : High-performance hydrogen storage technology from Ammonia Borane - AB Power
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-11 / 01-SEP-12
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : High Performance hydrogen storage technology from Ammonia Borane ¿ ABPower 2
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-13 / 31-DEC-13
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Development of Hybrid catalytic magnetic Nanoparticles for efficient and safe hydrogen storage
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-14 / 31-DEC-14

Current Postgraduate Students

Crystal O Connor, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201300   CHEM40390     Chemistry: Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
201300   CHEM00020     Chemistry: Introductory Chemistry (Ag)



External Collaborators

Dr. C. Hartinger: Department of Inorganic Chemistry; University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Prof. P. J. Dyson: ISIC, EPFL, Vaud, Switzerland. 
Prof. Simon Duckett, University of York, UK.