Accessibility statement

Professor Ian Fairlamb

01904 324091

Catalysis and Target-Oriented Synthetic Chemistry: Unlocking Reactivity and Selectivity Using Robotic Systems and Data Analysis

Our core interests are in the development and application of transition metal chemistry in mechanism-driven catalysis and synthetic chemistry.  We are particularly interested in Pd, Fe and Mn catalyst design and mechanistic understanding, especially in C-H and C-X bond activation processes.  Our work has strong links to the agrochemical, catalysis, life sciences and pharamceutical sectors. Organometallic therapeutic carbon monoxide releasing molecules and fluorescent 'drug-like' heteroaromatic compounds are compound classes of interest.  We use natural product frameworks as a sharpening tool for our new catalysts and catalytic processes. Quantitative mechanistic chemistry underpins both our fundamental and applied research. We utilise automated robotic systems to aid with reaction screening and understanding catalyst activation and deactivation pathways, which is important to applied synthetic chemistry. The work involves principal component analysis and decision tree learning, and holistic understanding of reaction outcomes.


Selected Publications

York Research Database link



We are an Organic Chemistry research group with multi-disciplinary links to Computational Studies (DFT), Rich Data Analysis, Inorganic Chemistry and Nanoscience.


Industrialy-relevant academic research programmes.

Use of automated chemical synthesis (robotics) and rich data analysis of reaction outcomes.

Mn-Catalysed C-H activation in organic chemistry.

Study of Pd clusters and nanoparticles in C-H activation chemistry.

Understanding mechanisms in Pd catalysis: towards sub 10ppm cross-coupling catalysis.

Catalytic C-H activation in biomolecules.

Research group(s)

The research group is made up of PhD students, post-doctoral scientists, M.Chem. students and research visitors.  The group size fluctuates from year to year, typically having between 10-16 members.


Current York collaborators:

Current External collaborators:

Available PhD research projects

Please contact Prof. Fairlamb about new research projects available within the group.