Chemistry is not merely a science of making observations in order to better understand Nature. It is also creative and productive. We chemists are proud of our ability to create products of high value from almost nothing, by using our accumulated scientific knowledge. Chemistry has greatly enhanced the quality of life worldwide by providing an impressive range of useful man-made substances and materials. Despite the extraordinary masterworks in the area of total synthesis in the last century, the development of practical and efficient synthetic methodologies is still in its infancy: This remains one of the greatest intellectual challenges which chemists face in the 21st Century. The achievement of this goal will require the highest level of scientific creativity, insight and understanding.
Our research group has consistently focused on molecular catalysis and, consequently, contributed in diverse ways to the progress of modern chemistry. Professor Noyori is well known for his initiation, development and establishment of asymmetric catalysis using chiral metal complexes. In particular, chemistry based on Noyori BINAP ligand has been practiced in research laboratories worldwide as well as on an industrial scale. Other major accomplishments in this area include: the development of practical asymmetric hydrogenation of olefins and ketones, the demonstration of the general utility of dynamic kinetic resolution in asymmetric catalysis, the discovery of highly enantioselective addition of dialkylzincs to aldehydes catalyzed by chiral amino alcohols, and the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of the chirality amplification phenomenon. These methods have been applied in the syntheses of numerous important products including menthol, carbapenem antibiotics, and prostaglandins. More recent achievements involve the DNA synthesis using organometallic methodologies, the catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide in its supercritical state, the environmentally benign oxidation methods using a tungsten catalyst in an aqueous hydrogen peroxide solution, and the contribution to brain science research via the synthesis of prostaglandins by three-component coupling.
The current research programs of our laboratory are directed toward
(1) invention of efficient synthetic methods, strategies, and concepts to solve challenging synthetic problems,
(2) cost-effective and/or programmable synthesis of various classes of important compounds,
(3) creation of significant properties or functions (catalysts and materials) utilizing synergistic effects of intra-and inter-molecular recognition,
(4) synthesis of previously uncovered molecules that are architecturally interesting,
(5) discovery of new functional molecules (or molecular assemblies) with potential toward the development and understanding of materials science and life science.
See more detail at the individual researcher pages: