Niggemann Research Group

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One of the central challenges of the 21 century is the preservation of the natural resources of our planet for future generations. More than ever, scientists and engineers are in demand of advancing ecologically and economically sustainable processes. The development of chemical transformations, based on ecologically benign starting materials and catalysts, represents a valuable contribution.  

Opportunities with a New Calcium Catalyst 

Even though they are highly sustainable metals, the catalytic activity of early main group metals such as lithium, potassium, magnesium and calcium remains hitherto almost unexplored. Engaging the reactivity of these metals, our research focuses on the development of new organic reactions, to ultimately provide a valuable and sustainable alternative to transition metal catalysts. In addition, the unknown potential of these new catalysts might enable the development of new reaction pathways.

Direct Transformation of Nitro Groups  

Electrophilic nitrogen reagents have become increasingly popular in many areas of chemistry. In these, a N-X bond (X: O, S, halogen, etc.) realizes the Umpolung of the nitrogen's natural nucleophilic character. These reagents have to be premade in multi-step syntheses. Nitro groups are one of the most common commercially available sources of N-containing building blocks, but their high oxidation state makes them unreactive for N-functionalization.

Therefore, we realized a partial in-situ reduction of nitro groups to electrophilic nitrogen reagents with a mild and readily available combination of B2pin2 and zinc organyls. This strategy hits two birds with one stone: The synthesis of the electrophilic nitrogen reagent is unnecessary, and nitro compounds are directly transformed into a functionalized amine without the detour to the amine.

Contact Us

Tel: +49 (0241) 8094688
Mail: niggemann"at"


RWTH Aachen University
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Landoltweg 1
52074 Aachen