ESR2 Project

Design of efficient catalytic tools for a direct access to chiral amines

Recruting institution: URV
Diploma-delivering institutions: URV, INPT
Thesis co-directors: Cyril Godard (URV, Tarragona, ES), Martine Urrutigoity (LCC, Toulouse, FR)
Secondment host: Italmatch Chemicals (IT)
Academic secondment : DTU


Chiral amines are efficient functional components in fine chemistry to attain pharmaceutical and agrochemical active products [1]. For their production, an elegant and environmentally benign alternative to multistep classical organic synthetic routes is provided by the one-pot hydroaminomethylation reaction, (HAM) [2]. This project aims at the development of efficient catalysts for the asymmetric version of the HAM, which has not been reported to date using a single catalyst. The reaction will be investigated in two parallel approaches including the study of asymmetric hydroformylation/reductive amination and hydroformylation/amine condensation/asymmetric hydrogenation (of imines or enamines). The most efficient catalysts will be subsequently immobilised onto carbon supports to study their recycling and their performance under continuous flow conditions.


[1] Y. Yamamoto, U. Radhakrishnan, Chem. Soc. Rev.1999, 28, 199–207.
[2] a) D. Crozet, A. Gual, D. McKay, C. Dinoi, L. Maron, C. Godard, J.-C. Daran, M. Urrutigoïty, Ph. Kalck, C. Claver Chem. Eur. J.2012, 18, 7128-7140; b) P. Kalck, M. Urrutigoïty Chem. Rev. 2018, 118, 3833-3861.

Expected Results

Efficient chiral catalysts for HAM of alkenes will be designed and developed aiming at complete conversion of the substrates, high chemoselectivity to the final amines (at least 90%) with ≥ 90% ee. Structure/ performance relationships will be obtained through mechanistic studies using high pressure techniques (HP-NMR, HP-IR, …). The robustness of the most efficient catalysts will be evaluated through their immobilisation and subsequent recycling studies and testing under continuous flow conditions (in collaboration with Pr. Anders Riisager at DTU).

Joris Langlois

Joris Langlois

PhD student - ESR2

I was born in Coutances, France in 1996. In 2017, I completed my undergraduate studies and the next year, my first year of master’s in chemistry at the university of Caen where I did a three months internship in medicinal chemistry at Servier, Suresnes. In 2018, I joined the European school of Chemistry, Polymers and Materials sciences (ECPM) in Strasbourg and I spent four months as an intern at Servier, Budapest. In 2020, I was awarded in chemical engineering and in “Molecular and Supramolecular Chemistry” from the university of Strasbourg after completing a research internship with L’Oréal, Paris. My PhD will tackle the development of efficient catalysts for asymmetric hydroaminomethylation reaction in order to reduce the steps for developing pharmaceutical or agrochemical active products.