Research Group Q-BIS


Welcome to the Bioinorganic and Supramolecular Chemistry group (QBIS) web page. Research in the Bioinorganic and Supramolecular Chemistry group (QBIS) aims at the preparation and study of molecules that have relevance in the fields of Biological Inorganic Chemistry and/or Supramolecular Chemistry.

In the Bioinorganic Chemistry projects our objective is to obtain fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of O2 activation and/or substrate oxidation taking place at the enzyme active site of non-heme metalloproteins. Our approach involves preparation, characterization and study of the chemistry associated to structural and/or functionalmodel compounds of these enzymes. We are also interested in studying the chemistry of high oxidation states of metal ions implicated in the catalytic chemistry of oxygenases. This knowledge is fundamental in order to develop bioinspired oxidation catalysts that could use O2 and/or peroxides to carry out selective hydrocarbon oxidation reactions under mild conditions.

In the supramolecular chemistry area, our goal is to develop nanoscopic scale molecules that could act as sensors, nanoreactors or functional materials. To this end, molecules of high complexity are prepared via self-assembly of simple building blocks directed by coordination to metal ions.

Our research involves the use a number of characterization techniques that include X-ray diffraction analysis, NMR of different nuclei (including paramagnetic molecules), UV-Vis, circular dichroism, FT-IR, mass spectrometry-ESI, GC/MS, cyclic voltammetry, Mössbauer spectroscopy, resonance Raman and EPR. We also study reaction mechanisms by means of isotopic labeling, and stereoselectivity substrate probes, as well as by kinetic methods. We use computational methods to try to characterize our molecules and understand their reactivity. Our students obtain then a multidisciplinary formation in the synthesis, structural and spectroscopic characterization of organic and inorganic molecules, and in the mechanistic study of their reactivity.

The multidisciplinary nature of our research includes collaborations with a number of groups. In this sense, we have collaboration with Prof M. Solŕ and J.M. Luis from Institute of Computational Chemistry (IQC) of UdG to carry out reaction mechanism studies and geometry optimizations by means of DFT methods. We also work in collaboration with the group of Dra Anna Roglans in the design of supramolecular systems and catalysts. We collaborate with Dr Teodor Parella (UAB) for studying complex systems with NMR methods, and Dr Benet Buchholz (ICIQ) for the crystallographic characterization of complex molecules. We collaborate with Prof. Rybak-Akymova from Tufts University to carry out kinetic studies by means of stopped-flow UV-Vis techniques, and with Prof. L. Que from the University of Minnesota, to carry out the spectroscopic characterization of metastable reaction intermediates. We also collaborate with Prof. Stack from Stanford University in the comprehension and characterization of MˇˇˇH-C agostic interactions. Finally, we have a collaboration with Prof. Veciana from ICMAB-CSIC with the goal of introducing open-shell organic molecules as ligands in transition metal complexes that have biological relevance, and/or in nanoscopic supramolecular structures.