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Organometallic Chemistry

During this course you will gain a thorough understanding of the structure-activity-relationships of organometallic complexes, and you will be able to apply that knowledge to catalytic reactions towards the synthesis of organic compounds.

Synthesis of organic compounds in similar to assembling lego blocks
Organic molecules can be built by connecting smaller organic compounds together via catalytic reactions. The way the assembling occurs is not as simple as when you build with lego blocks, though!

Classical as well as modern catalytic methods will be discussed. You will also get a thorough understanding of the mode of action of organometallic catalysts to construct a large variety of carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds. You will also have the opportunity to synthesize transition metal complexes in the lab, and organic molecules using organometallic catalysts. By the end of the course, you should be able to propose mechanisms that explain the outcome of new reactions mediated by transition metal catalysts!

  • Course structure

    Learning outcomes
    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

    • Classify chemical bonds between transition metals and ligands in organometallic complexes, and be able to explain the reactivity of transition metal complexes based on the connection between electronic structure and molecular properties.
    • Explain fundamental chemical transformations of transition metal complexes in a catalytic cycle, and suggest reaction mechanisms in transformations catalyzed by transition metal complexes.
    • Apply the knowledge in organometallic chemistry and catalysis to synthesize complex organic molecules.
    • Perform organometallic reactions in the laboratory and describe the experimental procedures, and summarize the results in a report.
    • Gain knowledge from scientific articles within organometallic chemistry.


    • Theory, 11 ECTS
    • Lab, 4 ECTS

    Teaching format

    • Lectures
    • Labs
    • Seminars
    • Group exercises
    • Presentations

    Compulsory elements of the course: You will analyze a research article on organometallic catalysis, and will present it during a lecture. You will also analyze the presentation of one of your peers. In addition, you will be able to perform experiments in the laboratory for 9 full days, and report on the outcome of the experiments through writing laboratory reports.

    To pass the course you need to participate and pass the compulsory elements of the course, as well as to pass the theoretical exam.

    Students tasks

    To fulfill the goals of this course, it is advised that you fully dedicate your time to it during its duration. Lectures (3 h) are given 3-5 times per week, the remaining of the day, as well as the days with no lectures, are left for self-studies and lab. There are also several exercises sessions, that will help you to connect the content of different lectures.




    • Written exam
    • Experiments in the lab
    • Lab report
    • Oral presentation



    Belén Martín-Matute

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Handouts distributed by the lecturers.

    Recommended book: Organotransition Metal Chemistry: From Bonding to Catalysis (ISBN: 9781891389535): John Hartwig: University Science books: Sausalito, CA.


  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course coordinator and examiner
    Chemistry Section & Student Affairs Office