Silanide Chemistry – Bridging the Organic/Inorganic Gap

MSc in Synthetic Organo-silicon Chemistry

Silanide Chemistry – Bridging the Organic/Inorganic Gap

Supervisors: Dr Ewan R Clark and Dr Aniello Palma

A Masters opportunity is available in the field of synthetic organo-main group chemistry.

Chemists face the challenge of synthesising complex constructs for a variety of applications such as drug design, or producing natural and non-natural products. This project aims to exploit recently developed routes to anionic silicon nucleophiles and explore them for silyl-lithiation chemistry. Analogous to carbo-lithiation, this is a way of simultaneously installing two functional groups across a double bond, and rapidly introducing new synthetic handles into molecules to allow short, efficient, and green syntheses of pharmaceutically relevant compounds.

The project will involve the synthesis of novel silanides under mild conditions and development of structure/property relationships for their reaction with simple organic molecules to give a deep understanding of this nascent methodology. The relationship between silane substituents and their reactivity towards alkenes will be established, and the stereocontrolled addition of silanides in chiral environments (e.g. chiral allylic and homoallylic alcohols, chiral additives and chiral ligands linked to the silanes) will be investigated to provide new routes to bio-active intermediates.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus, and work under the joint supervision of Dr Ewan Clark and Dr Aniello Palma, experts in main group synthesis and synthetic methodology development respectively.  The candidate will therefore receive well-rounded training in synthesis (including air-sensitive techniques) and characterisation (NMR, single Crystal X-ray diffraction, chiral resolution methods etc) and ample opportunity for personal development.

Entry requirements and fees: Applicants should have/expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related subject. This is a self-funded position and candidates will be liable for tuition fees at the standard rate (£4,327 for UK/EU candidates).

Webpage(s): and

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Ewan Clark ( or Aniello Palma (

How to Apply: To apply please go to []

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

Deadline Date for Applications: Open call

Interviews to be held between: TBC