Synthesis of new Heteroalkenes

Synthesis of new Heteroalkenes containing Group 14 and Group 2 elements and their application as catalysts

The project focuses on the design and development of new bimetallic catalysts based upon main group elements due to their low cost, high natural abundance, and environmentally benign nature.

The combination of two metal centres, which are directly bound together in the bimetallic framework, aims to develop our fundamental understanding of chemical bonding, and will open up new reactivity pathways not accessible to monometallic compounds.

This will lead to the establishment of many new sustainable catalytic processes and target the activation of strong bonds such as those found within greenhouse gases.

More information about the project can be found on the website of the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg.

Project Owners

Dr Lena Albers


Lena completed her Ph.D. at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany, in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Müller. She focused on modern main-group element chemistry and NMR spectroscopic investigations on highly reactive silylcationic oligosilanes.
In her postdoctoral stay at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 2016 to 2017 with Dr Michael Cowley, she started to research the chemistry of low-valent group 13 element containing compounds. This postdoc was supported by the Newton Fellowship, funded by the Royal Society. Since 2017, she has been a senior scientist in the group of Thomas Müller and combines the knowledge of group 13 and group 14 low-valent compounds and investigates their electronic nature and reactivity.

Dr Catherine Weetman


Cath obtained her MChem (2011) and PhD (2015) from the University of Bath under the supervision of Prof. Michael Hill in s-block catalysis. Following this, Cath moved to the University of Edinburgh where she diversified into d– and f-block organometallic chemistry under the guidance of Professors Polly Arnold and Jason Love. At the end of 2017, Cath was awarded a TU Munich Foundation Fellowship (TUFF) to join Prof. Shigeyoshi Inoue for low-oxidation state p-block chemistry. This was additionally supported by the award of a EuroTech Marie-Curie Fellowship to develop aluminium multiple bond chemistry, which also involved a 6-month secondment at EPFL, Switzerland. In July 2020, Cath joined University of Strathclyde to start her independent career as a Chancellor’s Fellow.