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Personal profile

Research interests

We are a catalysis and synthesis group with particular interest in the following areas:

1. Gold Catalysis
In the past decade, gold has emerged as a powerful catalyst for the electrophilic activation of carbon-carbon p bonds. Gold catalysis represents a new frontier in catalysis with scope for further discoveries and development, particularly in the field of asymmetric gold catalysis. We are interested in the development of novel gold catalysed reactions with the aim of expanding the current toolkit of synthetic techniques. Recent highlights from our group include developing novel gold-catalysed reactions with cyclopropenes and allenes.

For representative publications, see: Org. Lett., 2012, 14, 898. Abstract; Chem. Commun.,2011, 47, 1333 - 1335. Abstract; Org. Biomol. Chem., 2010, 8, 4090 - 4095. Abstract; Org. Lett.2010, 12, 484-487. Abstract; Chem. Commun., 2008, 6405-6407. Abstract

2. Palladium Catalysis
We have recently developed a mild and ligand free cationic Pd(II) system for conjugate additions to hindered ?-substituted cyclohexenones. Current work in the group centres around the development and futher applications of the cationic Pd(II) system.

For representative publications: Org. Lett., 2012, ASAP, DOI:10.1021/ol300794a. Abstract

3. N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC) - Type Ligands for Catalysis
The chemistry of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) and in particular their application as ligands, has developed rapidly since the synthesis of the first isolable species in 1991. NHC ligands are active in various transition metal catalysed reactions as well as in organocatalytic reactions. This area holds great promise in terms of the design of novel and modular ligands with different stereochemical topography.

For representative publication, see: Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 328 - 330. Abstract and review: Aust. J. Chem. 2011, 64, 1118–1132. Abstract

4. Chiral rotaxanes
One of the most interesting and yet least exploited features of rotaxanes is chirality - a rotaxane consisting of an asymmetric rotor and asymmetric axis can have cyclochirality, even if both the rotor and axis are themselves achiral. To date, there are no efficient methods for the catalytic enantioselective synthesis of cyclochiral rotaxanes. We are interested in tackling this challenging problem using tools from the field of asymmetric catalysis.

Research Group Contact Details

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ai-Lan Lee is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Gold Chemical Compounds
Catalysis Chemical Compounds
Alkenes Chemical Compounds
Light Metals Medicine & Life Sciences
Palladium Medicine & Life Sciences
Ethers Chemical Compounds

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2008 2019

  • 39 Article
  • 5 Literature review
  • 1 Comment/debate
  • 1 Review article

Dual copper- and photoredox-catalysed C(sp2)-C(sp3) coupling

McLean, E. B., Gauchot, V., Brunen, S., Burns, D. J. & Lee, A-L., 14 Apr 2019, In : Chemical Communications. 55, 29, p. 4238-4241 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boronic Acids
benzyl bromide

Golden potential

Mclean, E. B. & Lee, A-L., 1 Sep 2019, In : Nature Chemistry. 11, 9, p. 760-761 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Metal-, Photocatalyst-, and Light-Free Direct C-H Acylation and Carbamoylation of Heterocycles

Westwood, M. T., Lamb, C. J. C., Sutherland, D. R. & Lee, A-L., 6 Sep 2019, In : Organic Letters. 21, 17, p. 7119-7123 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Light Metals

Pd(II)-Catalyzed Enantioselective Desymmetrization of Polycyclic Cyclohexenediones: Conjugate Addition versus Oxidative Heck

Lamb, C. J. C., Vilela, F. & Lee, A-L., 1 Nov 2019, In : Organic Letters. 21, 21, p. 8689-8694 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Silver Effect in Regiodivergent Gold-Catalyzed Hydroaminations

Veguillas, M., Rosair, G. M., Bebbington, M. W. P. & Lee, A-L., 1 Mar 2019, In : ACS Catalysis. 9, 3, p. 2552-2557 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Activities 2007 2019


Ai-Lan Lee (Speaker)
9 Dec 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Chemical Science (Journal)

Ai-Lan Lee (Peer reviewer)
1 Jun 20191 Jun 2021

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

University of Bath

Ai-Lan Lee (Speaker)
10 Dec 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

University of Sussex

Ai-Lan Lee (Speaker)
8 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

University of Cardiff

Ai-Lan Lee (Speaker)
11 Nov 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk