We welcome students to join our group, for example through the ERASMUS program or students at UiT who would like to conduct a Bachelor or Master project.

Design and application of catalytic systems for sustainable CO2 conversion.
CO2 is commonly associated with environmental concerns, but this molecule harbors intriguing potential to be employed as a sustainable carbon source. With appropriate catalytic systems, CO2 can be converted to high-value products like fuels, fine chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

We aim at using carbon dioxide for creating C-C bonds in aliphatic carboxylic acids. CO2 is a thermodynamically stable molecule and it requires an efficient catalytic system to transform it into the chemically useful carboxylic acids. A prime target is to develop a catalytic system based on non-precious metals like copper, nickel or iron. We have projects related to both experimental organic chemistry and computational chemistry. The student will work on an individual project in close cooperation with our researchers and will be an integral part of the CHOCO research group.

Figure: Designed and owned by K. Hopmann.

Computational chemistry with emphasis on quantum mechanical studies of catalytic cycles involving different metal catalysts and ligands. The projects focus on:

  • How to study chemical reactions using quantum chemical models
  • How to model the effect of the surroundings (e.g. solvent)
  • Studies of novel catalysts and novel reactions

Students will learn how to apply computational methods to understand reactivity and selectivity of chemical reactions. Computational chemistry is now widely employed in both academia and industry to analyze reactions and to predict novel catalysts. The student will also gain general competence in employing linux-based operating systems and to write simple scripts for data analysis and other tasks, which will be useful skills for IT-related positions.

Organic chemistry focuses on the development and application of metal catalysts for carboxylation reactions with CO2. Possible topics are:

  • Development of metal catalysts (copper, iron, etc.) for transformations involving CO2
  • Synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant carboxylic acids or derivatives e.g. ibuprofen and evaluate the methods for synthesis with radiolabeled 11CO2.

Students working with organic chemistry will learn different synthetic methods and purification strategies including how to work with gases and inert conditions (oxygen and/or water free). Analysis of organic compounds is performed with NMR, HRMS, GC and supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC). The student will learn how to manage a laboratory to be prepared for work in both academia and private companies.