Welcome to Catalysis at Oxford

A catalyst accelerates a chemical transformation. Applications of catalysis, based on this simple definition, are estimated to be worth £700 billion worldwide and impact on issues such as energy, pollution control, sustainability and chemical manufacture.

Catalysis research at Oxford encompasses a wide variety of areas and includes the design of new catalysts and catalytic processes of relevance to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, fine chemical and petrochemical industries. Mechanism guided catalyst design, polymerization catalysis, electrocatalysis, application to chemical biology and complex molecule synthesis, biocatalysis, organocatalysis, transition metal catalysis and catalysis as applied to new energy vectors and sustainability are just some of the areas being explored by research groups at Oxford.


Next event: Winter School in Catalysis, jointly with LondonCat. December 17th and 18th. Venue StCatherine's College, Oxford. More information.

A very successful joint meeting with ICIQ (Tarragona) on Catalysis was recently held. Supported by The University of Oxford (Fell Fund) and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Oxford Catalysis Network


The Oxford Catalysis Network [.pdf] brings together expertise in catalysis from across the Department of Chemistry and the wider University. It aims to:
  • A Directory of expertise in catalytic science across the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division
  • Catalysis themed meetings and conferences
  • Graduate training in catalysis
  • Promote catalysis science
The Network includes expertise in homo- and heterogeneous transition metal catalysis, organocatalysis, bio-catalysis, and catalysis applied to the new materials. Please see our directory of expertise in Catalysis for more details.

Recent Papers

P. Mountford, A. D. Schwarz, C. S. Onn A remarkable switch from a diamination to a hydrohydrazination catalyst and observation of an unprecedented catalyst resting state Angew. Chem. Int Ed. 2012

R. S. Paton and J. M. Brown, Dinuclear Palladium Complexes - Precursors or Catalysts? Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012 in the press

R. M. Maksymowicz, P. M. C. Roth and S. P. Fletcher, Catalytic asymmetric carbon-carbon bond formation using alkenes as alkylmetal equivalents, Nature Chem. 2012, 4, 649

S. D. Pike, A. L. Thompson, A. G. Algarra, D. C. Apperley, S. A. Mcgregor, A. S. Weller, Synthesis and Characterization of a Rhodium(I) sigma-Alkane complex in the Sold-State, Science, 2012, 337, 1648