Prof. Paolo Melchiorre

Catalysis / Light in Chemistry

Group Leader:
Paolo Melchiorre, ICREA Professor

Administrative Support:
Núria Planella

Lab. Technician:
Eva Raluy González (until Nov.)

Postdoctoral Researchers:
Bartosz Bieszczad / Zhong-Yan Cao (until Aug.) / Giacomo E.M. Crisenza / Tamal Ghosh (until Feb.) Giulio Goti / Catherine M. Holden / Matthew A. Horwitz (until Nov.) / Luca A. Perego / Sudipta Raha Roy (until Nov.) / Bertran Schweitzer-Chaput / Thomas Van Leeuwen (until Dec.)

PhD Students:
Nurtalya Alandini / Pablo Bonilla / Luca Buzzetti (until Oct.) / Sara Cuadros / Eduardo de Pedro / Eugenio Gandolfo / Giandomenico Magagnano / Daniele Mazzarella

Master Student:
Miguel Bernús

Visiting Students:
Davide Spinnato (from Nov.) / Adriana Faraone

Visiting Professors:
Gianfranco Favi (Mar – May)


The research of Prof. Melchiorre aims to connect two areas of molecular activation, photochemistry and organocatalysis, to provide new frameworks for chemical reactivity for the development of light-emitted asymmetric transformations. His group has shown that the synthetic potential of organocatalytic intermediates is not limited to the fundamental state, but can be expanded by exploring their photochemical activity. By bringing an organocatalytic intermediate to an electronically excited state, the light excitation opens the door to different reaction pathways to the conventional organocatalytic pathways of the fundamental state, providing new synthetic routes for the preparation of chiral molecules that can not be achieved with the traditional methodologies.


‘PhotoOrganocatalytic Enantioselective Radical Cascade Reactions of Unactivated Olefins’
P. Bonilla, Y. Rey, C. Holden, P. Melchiorre
Angew. Chem 2018, 57, 12819-12823

‘Enantioselective radical conjugate additions driven by a photoactive intramolecular iminium-ion-based EDA complex’
Z. Cao, T. Ghosh, P. Melchiorre
Nat. Commun. 2018, 9 (3274)

‘Asymmetric Photocatalytic C–H Functionalization of Toluene and Derivatives’
D. Mazzarella, G.E.M. Crisenza, P. Melchiorre
Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140 (27), 8439–8443


‘Organocatalytic Strategies to Stereoselectively Trap Photochemically Generated Hydroxy-o-quinodimethanes’
Cuadros, P. Melchiorre
Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2018, 2884-2891

‘Enhancing the potential of enantioselective organocatalysis with light’
M. Silvi, P. Melchiorre
Nature 2018, 554, 41-49

‘Enantioselective Photochemical Organocascade Catalysis’
L. Woźniak, G. Magagnano, P. Melchiorre
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 1068-1072

‘Direct Stereoselective Installation of Alkyl Fragments at the β-Carbon of Enals via Excited Iminium Ion Catalysis’
C. Verrier, N. Alandini, C. Pezzetta, M. Moliterno, L. Buzzetti, H.B. Hepburn, A. Vega-Peñaloza, M. Silvi, P. Melchiorre
ACS Catal. 2018, 8 (2), 1062-1066

‘Organocatalysis with Amines in Photocatalysis’
Y. P. Rey, H. B. Hepburn, P. Melchiorre
In: «Science of Synthesis: Photocatalysis in Organic Synthesis«, Thieme, 2018, 1, 243, (ISBN: 9783132417021)DOI: 10.1055/sos-SD-229-00133.


Melchiorre Group
AGAUR | Ref: 2017SGR981

Photochemical Enantioselective Organic Catalysis: Making Biologically Relevant Chiral Molecules with Light
Ministerio | Ref: CTQ2016-75520-P

Light-Driven Asymmetric Organocatalysis
ERC Consolidator Grant | Ref: Grant agreement no. 681840

Entrepreneuring Dynamic Self-Organized Interfaces in Photocatalysis: A multidisciplinary Training Network Converting Light into Products
MSCA ITN | Ref: Grant agreement 722591 Project Website

Theses Supervised

Luca Buzzetti
October 29th, 2018
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
«Photochemical Strategies for Carbon-Carbon Bond Forming Processes»


Streamlining radical chemistry