The Fine Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Cluster aims to develop fast and stable catalysts with turnover numbers of > 1000 and turnover frequencies of > 100, depending on the type of metal used. If cheap metals, like iron, nickel, copper, cobalt or manganese, are used, these numbers can be an order of magnitude lower. The catalytic chemistry of these low-cost metals is currently underdeveloped and breakthroughs in this area are an integral part of this Cluster research. A second requirement is that these catalysts should be truly highly selective (in fine chemicals production typically multiple functional group compatibility is a must) and produce only the desired product in greater than 90% yield. Although there is still a need for good catalysts to perform enantioselective reactions, current efforts are directed too much at developing new ligands that are tested in already existing applications. Based on the needs as formulated by the chemical industries involved, the following Cluster Challenges of key interest to this Cluster are the selective catalytic de-oxygenation, the selective catalytic C-C bond formation, the selective catalytic C-X bond formation and the definition of fine chemical building blocks.
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