This is the Nano-Science Center webpage of the Lee group, which is located at the Department of Chemistry (Organic Chemistry Section, Nanoscience Center) University of Copenhagen, Denmark. We are aiming to develop new catalytic methodologies for organic syntheses using state-of-the-art functionalized materials, contributing to society and scientific communities by providing solutions for current global issues.
More than 13 gigatonnes of CO2 are released annually into the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel combustion, causing climate changes and ocean acidification. In addition to carbon-capturing processes, CO2-functionalization using a catalytic process is an ideal solution towards creating more valuable resources to compensate the input energy in the conversion process. This work implies that industrial waste, namely CO2 can be transformed to industrially useful chemicals, serving as a fuel source. Additionally, we are highly focused on the development of unprecedented asymmetric catalytic protocols utilizing CO2. Our methodology development will be beneficial to understand the origin of chirality on Earth, which is one of the profound "unnatural" events on our planet. By taking advantage of knowledge in organo and organometallic asymmetric catalysis, we will provide ground-breaking synthetic methodology for constructing from small to large and complex molecules in enantioselective fashion from carbon dioxide.
Desalination and Water Purification
The increasing scarcity of potable water (drinking water) has been dramatically emphasizing the importance of seawater desalination as a primary means to obtain an ample and safe fresh water supply. Recent global climate changes are seemingly accelerating the unpredictability of
secure water supply sources—even in developed countries—threatening society’s sustainable growth. Seawater is a seemingly limitless water source, but obtaining energy-efficient desalination processes is a formidable challenge. Our group aims at facile desalination processes using functionalized organic materials, organic porous polymers, and membrane systems. This project is operating in collaboration with CowaTech ApS.
CO2-Mediated Organic Synthesis
Kinetic and thermodynamic control of organic reactions provides a general tool for organic synthesis. Carbon dioxide, although it is thermodynamically stable, can be a beneficial additive and/or catalyst for organic transformation as Lewis and a Brønsted acid precursor. We are investigating the utility of CO2 to the fullest extent as a general catalyst providing unprecedented chemo- and even enantioselectivity by manipulating transition states and thermodynamic stability of desired products.
34. Extended Pummerer Fragmentation Mediated by Carbon Dioxide and Cyanide
L. Jian, R. R. Kragh, F. S. Kamounah, J.-W. Lee Tetraheron 2020, under review (invited)
33. CO2-Enabled Cyanohydrin Synthesis and Facile Iterative Homologation Reactions
M. Juhl, A. R. Petersen, J,-W. Lee Chem. Eur. J. 2020, doi.org/10.1002/chem.202003623 Preprint
32. CO2 (de)Activation in Carboxylation Reactions: A Case Study Using Grignard Reagents and Nucleophilic Bases
J. M. V. Lauridsen, S. Y. Cho, H. Y. Bae, J,-W. Lee Organometallics, 2020, 39, 1652-1657 (invited)
31. Cyanide Mediated Synthesis of Sulfones and Sulfonamides from Vinyl Sulfones
T. Roy, J.-W. Lee, Synlett, 2020, 31, 455-458 (invited for 11th EuCheMS Orgnic Division Young Investigator Workshop)
30. Palladium-Catalyzed Oxidative Homocoupling of Pyrazole Boronic Esters to Access Versatile Bipyrazoles and the Flexible Metal–Organic Framework Co(4,4′-bipyrazolate)
M. K. Taylor, M. Juhl, G. B. Hadaf, D. Hwang, E. Velasquez, J. Oktawiec, J. B. Lefton, T. Runčevski, J. R. Long, J.-W. Lee, Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 1195-1198.
29. Mode of Action of Quinoline Antimalarial Drugs in Red Bblood Cells Infected by Plasmodium Falciparum, Revealed in-vivo
S. Kapishnikov, T. Staalsø, Y. Yang, J.-W. Lee, A. J. Perez-Berna, E. Pereiro, Y. Yang, S. Werner, P. Guttmann, L. Leiserowitz, J. Als-Nielsen, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2019, 116, 22946-22952.
28. Carbon Dioxide-Catalyzed Stereoselective Cyanation Reaction
T. Roy, M. Kim, Y. Yang, S. Kim, G. Kang, X. Ren, A. Kadziola, H.-Y. Lee, M.-H. Baik, J.-W. Lee, ACS Catalysis 2019, 9, 6066-6011 (supplementary cover)
27. Toward Ideal Carbon Dioxide Functionalization
Y. Yang, J.-W. Lee, Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 3905-3926. (front cover highlight)
26. Aldehyde Carboxylation: A Concise DFT Mechanistic Study and a Hypothetical Role of CO2 in the Origin of Life
M. Juhl, M. J. Kim, H.-Y. Lee, M.-H. Baik, J.-W. Lee, Synlett 2019, 30, 987-996 (Synpact invited)
25. Umpolung Reactivity of Aldehydes toward Carbon Dioxide
M. Juhl, J.-W. Lee, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 12318-12322.
24. Asymmetric Aminalization via Cation-Binding Catalysis
S. Y. Park, Y. Liu, J. S. Oh, M. Duan, Y. K. Kweon, J.-W. Lee, H. Yan, C. E. Song, Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 1020-1025.
23. A Microporous Amic Acid Polymer for Enhanced Ammonia Capture
J.-W. Lee, G. Barin, G. W. Peterson, J. Xu, K. A. Colwell, J. R. Long, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2017, 9, 33504-33510.
22. Asymmetric Cation-Binding Catalysis
M. T. Oliveira, J.-W. Lee, ChemCatChem 2017, 9, 377-384. (back cover highlight)
21. Hydrogen-Bond Promoted Nucleophilic Fluorination: Concept, Mechanism and Applications in Positron Emission Tomography
J.-W. Lee, M. T. Oliveira, H. B. Jang, D. W. Kim, S. Lee, D. Y. Chi, C. E. Song, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2016, 45, 4638-4650. (Inside back cover)
20. Textile Catalysts—An unconventional approach towards heterogeneous catalysis
T. Mayer-Gall, J.-W. Lee, K. Opwis, B. List, J. S. Gutmann, ChemCatChem 2016, DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201501252.
19. Reversible trapping and reaction acceleration within dynamically self-assembling nanoflasks
H. Zhao, S. Sen, T. Udayabhaskararao, M. Sawczyk, K. Kucanda, D. Manna, P. K. Kundu, J.-W. Lee, P. Král, R. Klajn, Nature Nanotech. 2016, 11, 82-88.
18. Investigation of Cationic Claisen-type Electrophilic Rearrangements of Amides
M. Padmanaban, L. C. R. Carvalho, D. Petkova, J.-W. Lee, A. S. Santos, M. M. B. Marques, N. Maulide, Tetrahedron 2015, 71, 5994-6005
17. Parts-per-million Level Loading Organocatalysed Enantioselective Silylation of Alcohols
S. Y. Park, J.-W. Lee, C. E. Song, Nature Commun. 2015, 6:7512, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8512 (Highlighted in Synfacts 2015, 11, 0985)
16. Dual-Responsive Nanoparticles that Self-Assemble under the Simultaneous Action of Light and CO2
J.-W. Lee, R. Klajn, Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 2036-2039
15. Organotextile Catalysis
J.-W. Lee, T. Mayer-Gall, K. Opwis, C. E. Song, J. S. Gutmann, B. List, Science 2013, 341, 1225-1229.
(Highlighted in Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 896-897; C&EN 2013, 9, 5; Synfacts 2013, 9, 1343; Synform 2013, 12, A150)
14. Organocatalytic Enantioselective Decarboxylative Aldol Reaction of Malonic Acid Half Thioesters to Aldehydes
H. Y. Bae, J. H. Sim, J.-W. Lee, B. List, C. E. Song, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 12143-12147
13. Bifunctional Organocatalyst for Methanolytic Desymmetrization of Cyclic Anhydrides: Increasing Enantioselectivity by Catalyst Dilution
H. S. Rho, S. H. Oh, J.-W. Lee, J. Y. Lee, J. Chin, C. E. Song, Chem. Commun. 2008, 1208-1210
12. Deracemization of a-Aryl Hydrocoumarins via Catalytic Asymmetric Protonation of Ketene Dithioacetals
J.-W. Lee, B. List, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 18245-18248
11. Scalable Organocatalytic Asymmetric Strecker Reactions Catalysed by a Chiral Cyanide Generator
H. Yan, J. S. Oh, J.-W. Lee, C. E. Song, Nature Commun. 2012, 3, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2216
10. Self-association Free Bifunctional Thiourea Organocatalysts: Synthesis of Chiral a-Amino Acids via Dynamic Kinetic Resolution of Racemic Azlactones
J. S. Oh, J.-W. Lee, T. H. Ryu, J. H. Lee, C. E. Song, Org. Bimol. Chem. 2012, 10, 1052-1055
9. A Chiral-Anion Generator: Application to Catalytic Desilylative Kinetic Resolution of Silyl-Protected Secondary Alcohols
H. Yan, H. B. Jang, J.-W. Lee, H. K. Kim, S. W. Lee, J. W. Yang, C. E. Song, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 8915-8917
8. Toward Understanding the Origin of Positive Effects of Ionic Liquids on Catalysis: Formation of More Reactive Catalysts and Stabilization of Reactive Intermediates and Transition States in Ionic Liquids
J.-W. Lee, J. Y. Shin, Y. S. Chun, H. B. Jang, C. E. Song, S.-g., Lee, Acc. Chem. Res. 2010, 43, 985-994
7. Self Association-Free Dimeric Cinchona Alkaloid Organocatalysts: Unprecedented Catalytic Activity, Enantioselectivity and Catalyst Recyclability in Dynamic Kinetic Resolution of Racemic Azlactones
J.-W. Lee, T. H. Ryu, J. S. Oh, H. Y. Bae, H. B. Jang, C. E. Song, Chem. Commun. 2009, 7224-7226
6. Oligoethylene Glycols as Highly Efficient Mutifunctional Promoters for Nucleophilic-Substitution Reactions
V. H. Jadhav, S. H. Jang, H.-J. Jeong, S. T. Lim, M.-H. Sohn, J.-Y. Kim, S. Lee, J.-W. Lee, C. E.Song, D. W. Kim, Chem. Eur. J. 2012, 18, 3918-3924
5. A Highly Reactive and Enantioselective Bifunctional Organocatalyst for Methanolytic Desymmetrization of Cyclic Anhydrides: Preventing Catalyst Aggregation
S. H. Oh, H. S. Rho, J.-W. Lee, J. E. Lee, S. H. Youk, J. Chin, C. E. Song, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 7872-7875
4. Bis-Terminal Hydroxyl Polyethers as All-Purpose, Multifunctional Organic Promoters: A Mechanistic Investigation and Applications
J.-W. Lee, H. Yan, H. B. Jang, H. K. Kim, S.-W. Park, S. Lee, D. Y. Chi, C. E. Song, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 7683-7686
3. Hydrogenation of Arenes by Dual Activation: Reduction of Substrates Ranging from Benzene to C60 Fullerene under Ambient Conditions
R. R. Deshmukh, J.-W. Lee, U. S. Shin, J. Y. Lee, C. E. Song, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 8616-8617.
2. A Polymer-Supported Cinchona-based Bifunctional Sulfonamide Catalyst: a Highly Enantioselective, Recyclable Heterogeneous Organocatalyst
S. H. Youk, S. H. Oh, H. S. Rho, J. E. Lee, J.-W. Lee, C. E. Song, Chem. Commun. 2009, 2220-2222
1. Activation of Lewis Acid Catalysts in the Presence of an Organic Salt Containing a Non-Coordinating Anion: Its Origin and Application Potential
J. H. Kim, J.-W. Lee, U. S. Shin, J. Y. Lee, S.-g. Lee, C. E. Song, Chem. Commun. 2007, 4683-4685
Ji-Woong Lee (C.V.)
Ph.D. Student (CSC scholarship)
CO2-Based Porous Materials for Biological Applications
Rasmus Refsgaard Kragh
Ph.D. Student [3+5]
Ph.D. Student (CSC scholarship)
Porous Materials for Biological Applications
Ph.D. Student (CSC scholarship)
Gul Barg Hadaf
Transition-metal catalysis for synthesis of heterocycles
Jerik Mathew Valera Lauridsen
Msc. Project Student
Steffen Brastrup Mogensen
Transition Metal-Free Trifluoromethylation Reaction
Jonas Merlin Ibsgaard Pedersen
Kamal Kuber Maharjan
Matt Gerard Clancy
We are looking for highly motivated, creative and talented group members of PhD, MSc and Bachelor students. Contact Ji-Woong for further information.
Available positions (2020):
Bachelor Research Projects/M.Sc. Program
(Department of Chemistry/Nanoscience Center)
Research Internship (closed)
Ph.D. Program (closed)
Postdoctoral Researcher (No funded position)**
**Please contact Jiwoong by email with cover letter, CV, research summary, contact information for three referees, and transcripts of grades.
Nano-Science Center, Department of Chemistry, Universitetsparken 5, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø
Phone: +45 3533 3312