Researchers at UCD


Martin Albrecht

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

School Of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
CSCB Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7162504


Professor of Chemistry, UCD (2009 - present)

Assistant Professor, Univ Fribourg, Switzerland (2003-2009)

Postdoctoral research with Bob Crabtree, Yale University, and at Ciba SC, Basel, Switzerland (2001-2003)

PhD with Gerard van Koten, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (1996-2000)

MSc University of Bern (1991-1996) 
ERC Consolidator Grant (2014-18), Bessel Award (2013, Humboldt Foundation) 
Researcher ID (Web of Science author identifier): B-4141-2014 


Honours and Awards

Year: 2013.
Title: ERC Consolidator Grant
Year: 2013.
Title: Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award
Year: 2007.
Title: ERC Starting Grant
Year: 2002.
Title: Alfred Werner Assistant Professorship
Year: 2001.
Title: Backer prize


Association: Royal Society of Chemistry, Function/Role: Fellow
Association: American Chemical Society, Swiss Chemical Society, Royal Dutch Society of Chemistry, Function/Role: member


Patent WO2005/040289 : Reinforced Coatings with Improved Scratch Resistance
Patent 1114652.9 : Use of rhodium complex and method using same

Conference Contributions

M Albrecht (2012) Challenging the Norm: Organometallic Chemistry with Abnormal Carbenes. [Keynote Address], L.M. Venanzi Symposium, ETH Zurich, Switzerland , 12-DEC-12 - 12-DEC-12.
M. Albrecht (2012) Mesoionic carbenes: a versatile platform for transition metal chemistry. [Keynote Address], ICCC40, International Conference on Coordination Chemistry, Valencia, Spain , 11-SEP-12 - 14-SEP-12.
M. Albrecht (2012) Photolytic water oxidation catalyzed by a molecular carbene iridium complex. [Invited Oral Presentation], Dalton Discussion 13, Sheffield, UK , 10-SEP-12 - 12-SEP-12.
M. Albrecht (2012) Relevance of carbene bonding in metalloenzymes using de-novo peptide synthesis. [Oral Presentation], ICOMS-XXV, Int'l Conference on Organometallic Chemistry, Lisbon (Portugal) , 02-SEP-12 - 07-SEP-12.
M Albrecht (2012) Mesoionic Carbene Complexes as Efficient Oxidation Catalysts. [Invited Oral Presentation], ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia USA , 21-AUG-12 - 21-AUG-12.
M Albrecht (2012) Oxidation Reactions Catlyzed by Mesoionic Carbene Complexes. [Keynote Address], Spanish Organometallic Conference, Castellon Spain , 12-JUN-12 - 12-JUN-12.
M. Albrecht (2012) Using Abnormal Carbenes for Oxidations. [Oral Presentation], COST Meeting CM1003, Padova Italy , 26-MAY-12 - 26-MAY-12.
M. Albrecht (2012) Cooperative Ligans: An Efficient Concept for Powering Redox Catalysists. [Oral Presentation], European Winter School, Bressanona, Italy , 31-JAN-12 - 31-JAN-12.
M. Albrecht (2011) Ligan-Assisted Bond Activation by Metal Complexes Containing Strongly Mesoionic Carbenes. [Oral Presentation], EuCOMC Organometallic Chemistry Conference, Toulouse, France , 06-JUL-11 - 06-JUL-11.
M. Albrecht (2011) Transfer and Direct Hydrogenation Using N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ruthenium Precursors. [Oral Presentation], Innovation V, La Valetta, Malta , 15-JUN-11 - 15-JUN-11.
M. Albrecht (2011) Challenging the Norm: Catalytic Impact of Abnormal Carbene Ligands. [Oral Presentation], EuCheMS Inorganic Chemistry Conference, Manchester, UK , 13-APR-11 - 13-APR-11.


Committee : Academic Council Committee for Academic Centers
Committee : University Research Strategy Board
Committee : College Research and Innovation Board
Committee : SCCB School Management Executive


Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Professor of Chemistry
Employer: University of Fribourg (Switzerland)
Position: Alfred Werner Assistant Professor
Employer: Ciba SC, Basel (Switzerland)
Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Employer: Yale University (USA)
Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Year 2000 Institution: University of Utrecht NL
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1996 Institution: University of Bern, Switzerland
Qualification: MSc Subject:



Book Chapters

A. Krüger, M. Albrecht; (2010) 'Non-classical N-heterocyclic carbenes' In: S. Diez-Gonzalez (eds). N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: From Laboratory Curiosities to Efficient Synthetic Tools. Cambridge: RSC. [Details]
M. Albrecht, D. Morales-Morales; (2009) 'Pincer-Type Iridium Complexes for Organic Transformations' In: L. A. Oro, C. Claver (eds). Iridium Complexes in Organic Synthesis. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. , pp.299-324 [Details]
M. Albrecht; (2008) 'C-H Bond Activation' In: J. Dupont & M. Pfeffer (eds). Palladacycles. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. , pp.13-34 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Juan Olguín, Helge Müller-Bunz and Martin Albrecht (2014) 'Springloaded porphyrin NHC hybrid rhodium(III) complexes: carbene dissociation and oxidation catalysis'. Chemical Communications, 50 . [DOI] [Details]
A. Petronilho, J. A. Woods, S. Bernhard, M. Albrecht (2014) 'Bimetallic iridium carbene complexes with mesoionic triazolylidene ligands for water oxidation catalysis'. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, :704-708. [DOI] [Details]
J. Aguilo, A. Naeimi, R. Bofill, H. Mueller-Bunz, A. Llobet, L. Escriche, M. Albrecht, X. Sala (2014) 'A new phthalazine-triazole dinucleating ligand. Synthesis, reactivity and putative applications'. New Journal of Chemistry, . [DOI] [Details]
J. P. Bryne, J. A. Kitchen, O. Kotova, V. Leigh, A. P. Bell, J. J. Boland, M. Albrecht, T. Gunnlaugsson (2014) 'Synthesis, structural, photophysical and electrochemical studies of various d-metal complexes of btp [2,6-bis(1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)pyridine] ligands that give rise to the formation of metallo-supramolecular gels'. Dalton Transactions, 43 :196-209. [DOI] [Details]
M. Nussbaum, O. Schuster, M. Albrecht (2013) 'Efficient Electronic Communication of Two Ruthenium Centers through a Rigid Ditopic N-Heterocyclic Carbene Linker'. CHEMISTRY: A European Journal, 19 :17517-17527. [DOI] [Details]
D. Canseco-Gonzalez, A. Petronilho, H. Müller-Bunz, K. Ohmatsu, T. Ooi, M. Albrecht (2013) 'Carbene transfer from triazolylidene gold complexes as a potent strategy for inducing high catalytic activity'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135 :13193-13203. [DOI] [Details]
D. Barry, J. Kitchen, M. Albrecht, S. Faulkner, T. Gunnlaugsson (2013) 'Near Infrared (NIR) lanthanide emissive Langmuir-Blodgett monolayers formed using Nd(III) directed self-assembly synthesis of chiral amphiphilic ligands'. Langmuir, 29 :11506-11515. [DOI] [Details]
Leigh, Vivienne; Ghattas, Wadih; Lalrempuia, Ralte; Müller-Bunz, Helge; Pryce, Mary; Albrecht, Martin (2013) 'Synthesis, Photo-, and Electrochemistry of Ruthenium Bis(bipyridine) Complexes Comprising a N-heterocyclic Carbene Ligand'. Inorganic Chemistry, 52 (9):5395-5402. [DOI] [Details]
Canseco-Gonzalez, D,Albrecht, M (2013) 'Wingtip substituents tailor the catalytic activity of ruthenium triazolylidene complexes in base-free alcohol oxidation'. Dalton Transactions, 42 :7424-7432. [DOI] [Details]
Monney, Angele; Albrecht, Martin (2013) 'Transition metal bioconjugates with an organometallic link between the metal and the biomolecular scaffold'. Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 257 (17-18):2420-2433. [DOI] [Details]
Monney, A,Nastri, F,Albrecht, M (2013) 'Peptide-tethered monodentate and chelating histidylidene metal complexes: synthesis and application in catalytic hydrosilylation'. Dalton Transactions, 42 :5655-5660. [DOI] [Details]
Donnelly, KF,Petronilho, A,Albrecht, M (2013) 'Application of 1,2,3-triazolylidenes as versatile NHC-type ligands: synthesis, properties, and application in catalysis and beyond'. Chemical Communications, 49 :1145-1159. [DOI] [Details]
Khlebnikov, V,Heckenroth, M,Muller-Bunz, H,Albrecht, M (2013) 'Platinum(II) and platinum(IV) complexes stabilized by abnormal/mesoionic C4-bound dicarbenes'. Dalton Transactions, 42 :4197-4207. [DOI] [Details]
Albrecht, M,Maji, P,Hausl, C,Monney, A,Muller-Bunz, H (2012) 'N-Heterocyclic carbene bonding to cobalt porphyrin complexes'. Inorganica Chimica Acta, 380 :90-95. [DOI] [Details]
Gandolfi, C,Morgan, GG,Albrecht, M (2012) 'A magnetic iron(III) switch with controlled and adjustable thermal response for solution processing'. Dalton Transactions, 41 :3726-3730. [DOI] [Details]
Canseco-Gonzalez, D,Gniewek, A,Szulmanowicz, M,Muller-Bunz, H,Trzeciak, AM,Albrecht, M (2012) 'PEPPSI-Type Palladium Complexes Containing Basic 1,2,3-Triazolylidene Ligands and Their Role in Suzuki-Miyaura Catalysis'. Chemistry-A European Journal, 18 :6055-6062. [DOI] [Details]
A. Krüger, M. Albrecht; (2012) 'Rhodium Carbene Complexes as Versatile Catalyst Precursors for Si¿H Bond Activation'. Chemistry-A European Journal, 18 . [Details]
J. Kitchen, D. Barry, L. Mercs, M. Albrecht, R. Peacock, T. Gunnlaugsson (2012) 'Circular Polarized Lanthanide Luminescence from Langmuir-Blodgett Films Formed from Optically Active and Amphiphilic Eu(III) Based Self-Assembly Complexes'. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 51 :704-708. [Details]
D. Canseco-Gonzalez, A. Gniewek, M. Szulmanowicz, H. Müller-Bunz, A. Trceziak, M. Albrecht (2012) 'PEPPSI-type Palladium Complexes Containing Basic 1,2,3-Triazolylidene Ligands and Their Role in Suzuki-Miyaura Catalysis'. CHEMISTRY: A European Journal, 18 :6055-6062. [Details]
A. Petronilho, H. Mueller-Bunz, M. Albrecht (2012) 'Mesoionic oxides: facile access from triazolium salts or triazolylidene copper precursors and catalytic relevance'. Chemical Communications, 48 :6499-6501. [Details]
V. Khlebnikov, A. Meduri, H. Müller-Bunz, B. Milani, M. Albrecht (2012) 'Synthesis of a Sterically Modulated Pyridine¿NHC Palladium Complex and Its Reactivity Towards Ethylene'. New Journal of Chemistry, 36 :1552-1555. [Details]
A. Petronilho, M. Rahman, J. A. Woods, H. Al-Sayyed, H. Mueller-Bunz, D. J. MacElroy, S. Bernhard, M. Albrecht (2012) 'Photolytic water oxidation catalyzed by a molecular carbene iridium complex'. Dalton Transactions, 48 :13074-13080. [Details]
A. Monney M. Albrecht (2012) 'A chelating tetrapeptide rhodium complex comprised of a histidylidene residue: biochemical tailoring of a NHC-Rh hydrosilylation catalyst'. Chemical Communications, 48 :10960-10962. [Details]
Martinho, PN,Ortin, Y,Gildea, B,Gandolfi, C,McKerr, G,O'Hagan, B,Albrecht, M,Morgan, GG (2012) 'Inducing hysteretic spin crossover in solution'. Dalton Transactions, 41 :7461-7463. [DOI] [Details]
Monney, A,Alberico, E,Ortin, Y,Muller-Bunz, H,Gladiali, S,Albrecht, M (2012) 'Stereospecific synthesis and catalytic activity of L-histidylidene metal complexes'. Dalton Transactions, 41 :8813-8821. [DOI] [Details]
Donnelly, KF,Lalrempuia, R,Muller-Bunz, H,Albrecht, M (2012) 'Regioselective Electrophilic C-H Bond Activation in Triazolylidene Metal Complexes Containing a N-Bound Phenyl Substituent'. Organometallics, 31 :8414-8419. [DOI] [Details]
Kruger, A,Kluser, E,Muller-Bunz, H,Neels, A,Albrecht, M (2012) 'Chelating C4-Bound Imidazolylidene Complexes through Oxidative Addition of Imidazolium Salts to Palladium(0)'. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, :1394-1402. [DOI] [Details]
Khlebnikov, V,Meduri, A,Mueller-Bunz, H,Montini, T,Fornasiero, P,Zangrando, E,Milani, B,Albrecht, M (2012) 'Palladium Carbene Complexes for Selective Alkene Di- and Oligomerization'. Organometallics, 31 :976-986. [DOI] [Details]
Horn, S,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Transfer hydrogenation of unfunctionalised alkenes using N-heterocyclic carbene ruthenium catalyst precursors'. Chemical Communications, 47 :8802-8804. [DOI] [Details]
Bernet, L,Lalrempuia, R,Ghattas, W,Mueller-Bunz, H,Vigara, L,Llobet, A,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Tunable single-site ruthenium catalysts for efficient water oxidation'. Chemical Communications, 47 :8058-8060. [DOI] [Details]
Mercs, L,Neels, A,Stoeckli-Evans, H,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Probing Intermetallic Coupling in Dinuclear N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ruthenium(II) Complexes'. Inorganic Chemistry, 50 :8188-8196. [DOI] [Details]
Heckenroth, M,Khlebnikov, V,Neels, A,Schurtenberger, P,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Catalytic Hydrogenation Using Abnormal N-Heterocyclic Carbene Palladium Complexes: Catalytic Scope and Mechanistic Insights'. Chemcatchem, 3 :167-173. [DOI] [Details]
Gandolfi, C,Cotting, T,Martinho, PN,Sereda, O,Neels, A,Morgan, GG,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Synthesis and self-assembly of spin-labile and redox-active manganese(III) complexes'. Dalton Transactions, 40 :1855-1865. [DOI] [Details]
Wyer, E,Gucciardo, G,Leigh, V,Muller-Bunz, H,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Comparison of carbene and imidazole bonding to a copper(I) center'. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 696 :2882-2885. [DOI] [Details]
Prades, A,Peris, E,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Oxidations and Oxidative Couplings Catalyzed by Triazolylidene Ruthenium Complexes'. Organometallics, 30 :1162-1167. [DOI] [Details]
A. Poulain, M. Iglesias, M. Albrecht,; (2011) 'Abnormal N-Heterocyclic Carbene Palladium Complexes: Synthesis, Structure, and Reactivity'. Current Organic Chemistry, 15 :3325-3336. [Details]
A. Poulain, D. Canseco-Gonzalez, R. Hynes-Roche, H. Müller-Bunz, O. Schuster, H. Stoeckli-Evans, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2011) 'Synthesis and Tunability of Abnormal 1,2,3-Triazolylidene Palladium and Rhodium Complexes'. Organometallics, 30 :1021-1029. [DOI] [Details]
A. Krüger, M. Albrecht; (2011) 'Abnormal N-heterocyclic Carbenes: More than just Exceptionally Strong Donor Ligands'. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 64 :1113-1117. [DOI] [Details]
A. Krüger, L. J. L. Häller, H. Müller-Bunz, O. Serada, A. Neels, S. A. Macgregor, M. Albrecht; (2011) 'Smooth C(alkyl)-H Bond Activation in Rhodium Complexes Comprising Abnormal Carbene Ligands'. Dalton Transactions, 40 . [DOI] [Details]
R. Lalrempuia, H. Müller-Bunz, M. Albrecht; (2011) 'Methyltransferase Activity of an Iridium Center with Methylpyridinium as Methylene Source'. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 50 . [DOI] [Details]
M. Albrecht, M. Lindner; (2011) 'Cleavage of Unreactive Bonds with Pincer Metal Complexes'. Dalton Transactions, 40 :8733-8744. [DOI] [Details]
Monney, A,Venkatachalam, G,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Synthesis and catalytic activity of histidine-based NHC ruthenium complexes'. Dalton Transactions, 40 :2716-2719. [DOI] [Details]
E. Stander-Grobler, O. Schuster, C. E. Strasser, M. Albrecht, S. Cronje, H. Raubenheimer; (2011) 'Normal and Abnormal Carbene Complexes Derived from Thiazole: Preparation and a Preliminary Investigation of Their Relative Catalytic Performance'. Polyhedron, 30 . [DOI] [Details]
Horn, S,Gandolfi, C,Albrecht, M; (2011) 'Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones and Activated Olefins Using Chelating NHC Ruthenium Complexes'. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, :2863-2868. [DOI] [Details]
Martinho, PN,Harding, CJ,Muller-Bunz, H,Albrecht, M,Morgan, GG; (2010) 'Inducing Spin Crossover in Amphiphilic Iron(III) Complexes'. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2010 (5):675-679. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Kruger, A,Neels, A,Albrecht, M; (2010) 'Rhodium-mediated activation of an alkane-type C-H bond'. Chemical Communications, 46 :315-317. [DOI] [Details]
Kitchen, JA,White, NG,Gandolfi, C,Albrecht, M,Jameson, GNL,Tallon, JL,Brooker, S; (2010) 'Room-temperature spin crossover and Langmuir-Blodgett film formation of an iron(II) triazole complex featuring a long alkyl chain substituent: the tail that wags the dog'. Chemical Communications, 46 :6464-6466. [DOI] [Details]
Iglesias, M,Schuster, O,Albrecht, M; (2010) 'A new, mild one-pot synthesis of iodinated heterocycles as suitable precursors for N-heterocyclic carbene complexes'. Tetrahedron Letters, 51 :5423-5425. [DOI] [Details]
Berardi, S,Carraro, M,Iglesias, M,Sartorel, A,Scorrano, G,Albrecht, M,Bonchio, M; (2010) 'Polyoxometalate-Based N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC) Complexes for Palladium-Mediated C-C Coupling and Chloroaryl Dehalogenation Catalysis'. Chemistry-A European Journal, 16 :10662-10666. [DOI] [Details]
P. N. Martinho, C. J. Harding, H. Müller-Bunz, M. Albrecht, G. G. Morgan; (2010) 'Tuning Spin Crossover in Amphiphilic Iron(III) Complexes'. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, :675-679. [Details]
M. Albrecht; (2010) 'Cyclometalation Using d-Block Transition Metals: Fundamental Aspects and Recent Trends'. Chemical Reviews, 110 :576-623. [DOI] [Details]
N. G. White, H. L. C. Feltham, C. Gandolfi, M. Albrecht, S. Brooker; (2010) 'Towards Langmuir-Blodgett Films of Magnetically Interesting Materials: Solution High Spin/Low Spin Equilibrium in Ambiphilic Iron(II) Complexes of a Triazole-Containing Ligand'. Dalton Transactions, 39 :3751-3758. [Details]
L. Mercs, M. Albrecht; (2010) 'Beyond Catalysis: N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes as Components for Medicinal, Luminescent, and Functional Materials Applications'. Chemical Society Reviews, 39 :1903-1912. [DOI] [Details]
C. Gandolfi, N. Miyashita, D. G. Kurth, P. N. Martinho, G. G. Morgan, M. Albrecht; (2010) 'Organization of Spin- and Redox-Labile Metal Ceners into Langmuir and Langmuir-blodgett Films'. Dalton Transactions, 39 :4508-4516. [DOI] [Details]
Iglesias, M,Albrecht, M; (2010) 'Expanding the family of mesoionic complexes: donor properties and catalytic impact of palladated isoxazolylidenes'. Dalton Transactions, 39 :5213-5215. [DOI] [Details]
Schuster, O,Mercs, L,Albrecht, M; (2010) 'The Potential of N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes as Components for Electronically Active Materials'. Chimia, 64 :184-187. [DOI] [Details]
E. Stander-Grobler, O. Schuster, G. Heydenrych, S. Cronje, E. Tosh, M. Albrecht, G. Frenking, H. G. Raubenheimer; (2010) 'Pyridine-derived N-heterocyclic carbenes: An experimental and theoretical evaluation of the bonding in and reactivity of selected normal and abnormal complexes of Ni(II) and Pd(II)'. Organometallics, 29 :5721-5733. [DOI] [Details]
R. Lalrempuia, N. McDaniel, H. Müller-Bunz, S. Bernhard, M. Albrecht; (2010) 'Water Oxidation Catalyzed by Strong Carbene-Type Donor Ligand Complexes of Iridium'. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 49 :9765-9768. [DOI] [Details]
W. Ghattas, H. Müller-Bunz, M. Albrecht; (2010) '[Ru(bpy)3] Analogues Containing an N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligand'. Organometallics, 29 :6782-6789. [DOI] [Details]
Mercs, L,Neels, A,Stoeckli-Evans, H,Albrecht, M; (2009) 'Main-chain organometallic polymers comprising redox-active iron(II) centers connected by ditopic N-heterocyclic carbenes'. Dalton, :7168-7178. [DOI] [Details]
M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Carbenes in Action'. Science, 326 :532-533. [Details]
M. Heckenroth, A. Neels, M. G. Garnier, P. Aebi, A. Ehlers, M. Albrecht; (2009) 'On the Electronic Impact of Abnormal C4-Bonding in N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes'. Chemistry - A European Journal, 15 :9375-9386. [Details]
C. Gandolfi, M. Heckenroth, A. Neels, G. Laurenczy, M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Chelating NHC Ruthenium(II) Complexes as Robust Homogeneous Hydrogenation Catalysts'. Organometallics, 28 :5112-5121. [Details]
L. Mercs, A. Neels, H. Stoeckli-Evans, M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Main-Chain Organometallic Polymers Comprising Redox-Active Iron(II) Centers Connected by Ditopic N-Heterocyclic Carbenes'. Dalton Transactions, :7168-7178. [Details]
O. B. Schuster, L. Yang, H. G. Raubenheimer, M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Beyond Conventional N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Abnormal, Remote, and Other Classes of NHC Ligands with Reduced Heteroatom Stabilization'. Chemical Reviews, 109 :3445-3478. [Details]
G. Venkatachalam, M. Heckenroth, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Synthesis, Structural Diversity, and Ligand Transfer Potential of Copper(I) Carbene Complexes'. Helvetica Chimica Acta, 92 :1034-1045. [Details]
M. Albrecht, K. J. Cavell; (2009) 'Abnormal NHCs: Coordination, Reaction Chemistry and Catalytic Applications'. Organometallic Chemistry, 35 :47-61. [Details]
A. Poulain, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Palladium Complexes Comprising Potentially Chelating Pyridylidene-Type Carbene Ligands'. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2009 :1871-1881. [Details]
M. Albrecht; (2009) 'Abnormal Carbenes as Ligands in Transition Metal Chemistry: Curiosities with Exciting Perspectives'. Chimia, 63 :105-110. [Details]
M. Heckenroth, E. Kluser, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2008) 'Palladation of diimidazolium salts at the C4 position: Access to remarkably electron-rich palladium(II) centers'. Dalton Transactions, :6242-6249. [Details]
Gandolfi, C,Moitzi, C,Schurtenberger, P,Morgan, GG,Albrecht, M; (2008) 'Improved Cooperativity of Spin-Labile Iron(III) Centers by Self-Assembly in Solution'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130 . [DOI] [Details]
C. Gandolfi, C. Moitzi, P. Schurtenberger, G. G. Morgan, M. Albrecht; (2008) 'Improved Cooperativity of Spin-Labile Iron(III) Centers by Self-Assembly in Solution'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130 :14434-14435. [Details]
L. Mercs, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2008) 'Probing the Potential of N-Heterocyclic Carbenes in Molecular Electronics: Redox-Active Metal Centers Interlinked by a Rigid Ditopic Carbene Ligand'. Dalton Transactions, :5570-5576. [Details]
P. Mathew, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2008) '1,2,3-Triazolylidenes as Versatile Abnormal Carbene Ligands for Late Transition Metals'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130 :13534-13535. [Details]
M. Albrecht; (2008) 'Tamed Tigers: Stabilization of Reactive Carbenes'. ChemPhysChem, 9 :1829-1831. [Details]
M. Albrecht; (2008) 'C4-bound imidazolylidenes: from curiosities to high-impact carbene ligands'. Chemical Communications, :3601-3610. [Details]
L. Yang, A. Krüger, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2008) 'Impact of C(4)-bound N-Heterocyclic Dicarbenes on the Coordination Chemistry and Catalytic Activity of Rhodium(III) Centers'. Organometallics, 27 :3161-3171. [Details]
M. Heckenroth, M. Albrecht; (2008) 'Palladium Complexes Comprising C(4)-bound Diimidazolylidene Carbenes'. Chimia, 62 :253-255. [Details]
E. F. Penka, C. W. Schläpfer, M. Atanasov, M. Albrecht, C. Daul; (2007) 'Theoretical Investigation of the Bonding Propertie of N-heterocyclic Carbenes Coordinated to Electron-Rich d8 Metal Centers'. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 692 :5709-5716. [Details]
M. Heckenroth, E. Kluser, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2007) 'Neutral Ligands with Exceptional Donor Ability for Palladium-Catalyzed Alkene Hydrogenation'. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, 46 :6293-6296. [Details]
L. Mercs, G. Labat, A. Neels, A. Ehlers, M. Albrecht; (2006) 'Piano-Stool Iron(II) Complexes as Probes for the Bonding of N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Indications for π-Acceptor Ability'. Organometallics, 25 :5648-5656. [Details]
E. Kluser, A. Neels, M. Albrecht; (2006) 'Mild and Rational Synthesis of Palladium Complexes Comprising C(4)-bound N-Heterocyclic Carbenes'. Chemical Communications, :4495-4497. [Details]
M. Heckenroth, A. Neels, H. Stoeckli-Evans, M. Albrecht; (2006) 'Synthesis and Structural Analysis of Palladium Biscarbene Complexes Derived from Bisimidazolium Ligand Precursors'. Inorganica Chimica Acta, 359 :1929-1938. [Details]
M. Albrecht, H. Stoeckli-Evans; (2005) 'Catalytic active palladium pyridylidene complexes: Pyridinium ionic liquids as N-heterocyclic carbene precursors'. Chemical Communications, :4705-4707. [Details]
M. Albrecht, S. Ehrler, A. Mühlebach; (2003) 'Nanocomposites from Layered Silicates: Graft Polymerization with Intercalated Ammonium Peroxides'. Macromol. Rapid Commun, 24 :382-387. [Details]
J. R. Miecznikowski, S. Gründemann, M. Albrecht, C. Mégret, E. Clot, J. W. Faller, O. Eisenstein, R. H. Crabtree; (2003) 'Outer Sphere Anion Participation Can Modify the Mechanism for Conformer Interconversion in Pd Pincer Complexes'. Dalton Transactions, :831-838. [Details]
H. P. Dijkstra, M. Albrecht, S. Medici, G. P. M. van Klink, G. van Koten; (2002) 'Hexakis(PCP-Platinum and ¿Ruthenium) Complexes by the Transcyclometalation Reaction and Their Use in Catalysis'. Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis, 344 :1135-1141. [Details]
G. Guillena, G. Rodríguez, M. Albrecht, G. van Koten; (2002) 'Covalently Bonded Platinum(II) Complexes of α¿Amino Acids and Peptides as a Potential Tool for Protein Labeling'. Chemistry - A European Journal, 8 :5368-5376. [Details]
S. Gründemann, A. Kovacevic, M. Albrecht, J. W. Faller, R. H. Crabtree; (2002) 'Abnormal Ligand Binding and Reversible Ring Hydrogenation in the Reaction of Imidazolium Salts with IrH5(PPh3)2'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 124 :10473-10481. [Details]
M. Albrecht, J. Miecznikowski, A. Samuel, J. W. Faller, R. H. Crabtree; (2002) 'Chelated Iridium(III) Bis¿Carbene Complexes as Air-Stable Catalysts for Transfer Hydrogenation'. Organometallics, 21 :3596-3604. [Details]
S. Gründemann, M. Albrecht, A. Kovacevic, J. W. Faller, R. H. Crabtree; (2002) 'Bis¿Carbene Complexes from Oxidative Addition of Imidazolium C¿H Bonds to Palladium(0)'. Journal of The Chemical Society-Dalton Transactions, :2163-2167. [Details]
G. Rodríguez, M. Albrecht, J. Schoenmaker, A. Ford, M. Lutz, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2002) 'Bifunctional ¿Pincer¿-type Organometallics as Substrates for Organic Transformations and as Novel Building Blocks for Polymetallic Materials'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 124 :5127-5138. [Details]
J. A. Loch, M. Albrecht, E. Peris, J. Mata, J. W. Faller, R. H. Crabtree; (2002) 'Palladium Complexes with Tridentate Pincer bis-Carbene Ligands as Efficient Catalysts for C¿C Coupling'. Organometallics, 21 :700-706. [Details]
H. P. Dijkstra, M. Albrecht, G. van Koten; (2002) 'Transcyclometalation, a Versatile Methodology for Multiple Metal¿Carbon Bond Formation with Multisite Ligands'. Chemical Communications, :126-127. [Details]
M. Albrecht, R. H. Crabtree, J. Mata, E. Peris; (2002) 'Chelating bis-Carbene Rhodium(III) Complexes in Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones and Imines'. Chemical Communications, :32-33. [Details]
S. Gründemann, M. Albrecht, J. A. Loch, J. W. Faller, R. H. Crabtree; (2001) 'Tridentate Carbene CCC and CNC Pincer Pd Complexes: Structure, Fluxionality and Catalytic Activity'. Organometallics, 20 :5485-5488. [Details]
S. Gründemann, A. Kovacevic, M. Albrecht, J. W. Faller, R. H. Crabtree; (2001) 'Abnormal Binding in a Carbene Complex Formed from an Imidazolium Salt and a Metal Hydride Complex'. Chemical Communications, :2274-2275. [Details]
M. Albrecht, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Platinum Group Organometallics Based on ¿Pincer¿ Ligands: Sensors, Switches, and Catalysts'. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 40 :3750-3781. [Details]
M. Albrecht, M. Schlupp, J. Bargon, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Detection of ppm Quantities of Gaseous SO2 by Organoplatinum Dendritic Sites Immobilised on a Quartz Microbalance'. Chemical Communications, :1874-1875. [Details]
M. Albrecht, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2001) 'C(arenium)¿C(alkyl) Bond Making and Breaking: Key Process in the Platinum-Mediated C(aryl)¿C(alkyl) Bond Formation. Analogies to Organic Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 123 :7233-7246. [Details]
M. Albrecht, B. M. Kocks, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Chiral Platinum and Palladium Complexes Containing Functionalized C2¿symmetric Bisaminoaryl ¿Pincer¿ Ligands'. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 624 :271-286. [Details]
M. Albrecht, S. L. James, N. Veldman, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Transmetalation Reactions with Nitrogen-Containing ¿Pincer¿-Class Ligands on Platinum(II) Centers'. Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 79 :709-718. [Details]
M. Albrecht, N. J. Hovestad, J. Boersma, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Multiple Useof Soluble Metallo-Dendritimers as Catalysts and Dyes'. Chemistry - A European Journal, 7 :1289-1294. [Details]
S. Back, M. Albrecht, A. L. Spek, G. Rheinwald, H. Lang, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Towards Organometallic Polymers with High Directionality Containing Bis(ortho-)chelating Ligands'. Organometallics, 20 :1024-1027. [Details]
M. Albrecht, R. A. Gossage, U. Frey, A. W. Ehlers, E. J. Baerends, A. E. Merbach, G. van Koten; (2001) 'Mechanistic Aspects of the Reversible Adsorption of SO2 on Arylplatinum Complexes: Experimental and ab initio Studies'. Inorganic Chemistry, 40 :850-855. [Details]
M. Albrecht, P. Dani, M. Lutz, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2000) 'Transcyclometalation Processes with Late Transition Metals: Caryl¿H Bond Activation via Non-Covalent C¿H¿Cl Interactions'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 122 :11822-11833. [Details]
M. Albrecht, M. Lutz, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2000) 'Organoplatinum Self-Assemblies for Gas-Triggered Crystalline Switches'. Nature, 406 :970-974. [Details]
M. Albrecht, G. Rodríguez, J. Schoonmaker, G. van Koten; (2000) 'New Peptide Labels Containing Covalently Bonded Platinum(II) Centers as Diagnostic Biomarkers and Biosensors'. Organic Letters, 2 :3461-3464. [Details]
M. Albrecht, M. Lutz, A. M. M. Schreurs, E. T. H. Lutz, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2000) 'Self-Assembled Organoplatinum(II) Supermolecules as Crystalline, SO2 Gas-Triggered Switches'. Dalton Transactions, :3797-3804. [Details]
P. Dani, M. Albrecht, G. P. M. van Klink, G. van Koten; (2000) 'Transcyclometalation: A Novel Route to (Chiral) Bis¿Ortho¿Chelated Bisphosphinoaryl Ruthenium(II) Complexes'. Organometallics, 19 :4468-4474. [Details]
H. Hagen, S. Reinoso, M. Albrecht, J. Boersma, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2000) 'O,N¿Chelated Boron Aminophenolate Complexes. Crystal Structure of BPh2(OC6H4-(CH2NMe2)-2)'. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 608 :27-33. [Details]
M. Albrecht, R. A. Gossage, M. Lutz, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (2000) 'Diagnostic Organometallic and Metallodendritic Materials for SO2 Gas Detection: Reversible Binding of Sulfur Dioxide to Arylplatinum(II) Complexes'. CHEMISTRY - A EUROPEAN JOURNAL, 6 :1431-1445. [Details]
M. Albrecht, R. A. Gossage, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (1999) 'Metal-Mediated C¿C Bond Making and Breaking: First Direct Evidence for a Reversible Migration of a Benzyl Group Along a Metal-Carbon Bond'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 121 :11898-11899. [Details]
M. Albrecht, G. van Koten; (1999) 'Gas Sensor Materials Based on Metallodendrimers'. Advanced Materials, 11 :171-174. [Details]
M. Albrecht, R. A. Gossage, A. L. Spek, G. van Koten; (1998) 'Sulfur Dioxide Gas Detection by Reversible η1¿SO2-Pt Bond Formation as Novel Application for Periphery Functionalised Metallo-Dendrimers'. Chemical Communications, :1003-1004. [Details]
A. Lutz, T. R. Ward, M. Albrecht; (1996) 'Synthesis of Salicylamide and Bipyridine Containing Ligands for Iron(II) and Iron(III) Coordination'. Tetrahedron, 52 :12197-12208. [Details]


Albrecht, M; (2009) Carbenes in Action. Editorial [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

We are strongly interested in exploiting molecular properties of transition metals that are located in a precisely defined environment, as this makes them widely useful as active sites in chemistry, biology and materials science. The activity of these metal centers can be altered and tuned by selective modifications of the ligand sphere, hence providing a versatile methodology to tailor their application range. Three aspects of this exciting area of research are currently under investigation: (i) implementation of organometallic components as active sites in materials; (ii) development of new catalytic systems for the activation of unreactive bonds; (iii) use of supramolecular principles for tailoring metal-centered processes. In addition, we are interested in investigating the relevance of carbene-type bonding motifs in biological systems.

Organometallic components as active sites in materials

Our current research program aims at synthesizing novel transition metal complexes with selected reactivity properties, in particular with respect to reversible magnetic and electronic processes (formation of molecular switches and wires). Our approach relies strongly, though not exclusively, on the recent discovery of heterocyclic carbenes as novel class of ligands in organometallic chemistry. These ligands fulfill most requirements for electronic applications such as a high degree of electron delocalization along the M=C bond. When complexed to an appropriate transition metal, useful properties are obtained such as redox activity (with Fe, Ru), spin-state transitions (Fe). Ligand modification can then be used to optimize the activity of the metal site, to produce ditopic ligand features. This strategy has afforded bimetallic complexes as prototypical molecular switches, and polymeric redox-active materials as an examples of molecular wires. 

Representative contributions: Organometallics 2006, 25, 5648; Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 5395; Chem. Eur. J. 2013, in press.

New catalysts based on non-classical carbenes

Homogeneous catalysis has been greatly stimulated by the recent discovery of N-heterocyclic carbenes as ligands for transition metals. The large majority of carbene complexes that have been used for catalytic applications thus far have been derived from imidazolium salts that bind via C(2) to the metal center. Despite the fact that the carbene is stabilized by two adjacent heteroatoms in such a bonding mode, these ligands appear to be among the most basic neutral ligands known. Recently, we and others have shown that the ligand basicity can be altered by changing the carbene framework. For example, in pyridylidene-type systems appear to be better sigma donors and better pi acceptor ligands when coordinated to late transition metals. Abnormal imidazolylidenes that bind via the C4 carbon in turn are extraordinarily strong, formally neutral donor ligands. The impact of these ligands on catalysis is substantial and we have recently disclosed catalytic systems that allow for the activation of less reactive bonds such as H-H and functionalized C-H bonds. Notably, these reactions fail when standard 2-imidazolylidene ligands are bound to the metal center. In particular, we have developed extraordinary powerful catalysts for water oxidation and acceptorless alcohol dehydrogenation. We aim at further exploiting the catalytic potential of platinum group transition metals that are bound to such non-classical carbenes in particular for activation of otherwise unreactive C-H and C-C bonds.

Representative contributions: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 200949, 9765; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008130, 13534; Chem. Eur. J. 201218, 652; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 13193For reviews: Chem. Commun. 2008, 3601; Chem. Rev. 2009109, 3445; Science 2009326, 532; Chem. Commun201349, 1145.

Use of supramolecular principles for tailoring metal-centered processes

We aim at functionalizing electronically or magnetically active complexes with molecular recognition sites for hierarchical organization. Controlled assembly of the active sites is expected to enhance intermolecular cooperativity and hence to improve the material's properties. Self-assembly at interfaces, e.g. into Langmuir-Blodgett mono- and multilayers, (inverse) micelles, or solid-liquid interfaces may ultimately result in the development general strategies for the implementation of desired molecular properties into devices. Our focus is directed in particular to the self-assembly of spin-labile and redox-active sites as a methodology for the construction of tailor-made (electro-)magnetic materials.

Representative contributions: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 14434; Dalton Trans. 2012, 41, 3716; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed2012, 51, 704.  

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : New magnetically active systems: preparation and (hierarchical) assembly
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-12 / 31-AUG-15
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Harnessing metal-ligand cooperativity: New catalysts for mild substrate oxidation
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-12 / 31-AUG-15
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Catalysts for biologically relevant redox transformations inspired by metalloenzymes
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-12 / 31-MAY-14
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Coordination clusters as building blocks for novel materials
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-13 / 31-JAN-15
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Metal-mediated, Homogeneously Catalyzed Procedures for the Activation of Unreactive Bonds
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-10 / 31-AUG-14
Sponsor : EC Framework
Title : Probing the Relevance of Carbene Binding Motifs in Enzyme Reactivity (CARBENZYMES)
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUL-09 / 30-JUN-13
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
Title : Carbene Binding Motifs and Metal-based Anticancer Agents
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-10 / 31-AUG-13
Sponsor : EC Framework
Title : CARBENERGY- Mesoionic carbene complexes for water splitting: Harnessing renewable energy sources
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-12 / 30-SEP-13
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Advanced Biomimetic Materials for Solar Energy Conversion R10797L
Start Date / End Date : 01-DEC-10 / 31-MAY-13
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Exploitation of Carbene Complexes in Catalysis (start-up fund)
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-09 / 31-MAR-10

Recent Postgraduates

Marion Heckenroth (now at BASF)
Laszlo Mercs (now at Böhme)
Claudio Gandolfi (now at Forbo)
Aurelie Poulain
Anneke Krüger (postdoc with David Leigh, Manchester)
Angèle Monney (postdoc with Matthias Beller, LIKat) 
Vsevolod Khlebnikov (postdoc with Andrew Phillips, Dublin) 
Daniel Canseco-Gonzalez (postdoc with Cathleen Crudden, Univ Nagoya)
Vivienne Leigh (now at Intel) 

Current Postgraduate Students

Kate Donnelly, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Kevin Farrell, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Bryan Hogan, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Yingfei Wei, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Chloe Johnson, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
René Pretorius, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Rachael Heath, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Miquel Navarro, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor


Internal Collaborators

Our research group currently comprises 8 postgraduate students (Kate Donnelly, Kevin Farrell, Bryan Hogan, René Pretorius, Yingfei Wei, Chloe Johnson, Rachael Heath, Miquel Navarro) and 3 postdoctoral fellows (Ana Petronilho, Juan Olguin, and Marta Valencia). In addition, we regularly host stage-4 B.Sc. students and visiting exchange students (currently from Germany and South Africa). Our group is highly international, with group members from all different regions of the world (Europe, South Africa, Mexico, China).

For more information on our research group, please use this link.


External Collaborators

We foster many fruitful collaborations with research groups within Ireland and particularly also around the globe (Europe, US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, etc), partially formalized through our exciting COST Action CARISMA. A list would likely be incomplete, please refer to the list of publications.