The KKH Research Group

Welcome to our webpage, where you can meet current/past members and find out about our research interests.

The research projects pursued by our group are (mainly) in the field of homogeneous catalysis, at the interface of organic and inorganic chemistry. We are particularly interested in developing selective catalysts for C‑C or C‑X bond formations for organic synthesis. We are working closely with Chemical Engineering colleagues to enhance/understand catalytic processes by the application of continuous flow technology.

Mailing address:

Department of Chemistry

Imperial College London

Exhibition Road, South Kensington

London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom

Phone: +44-(0)20-75941142


Who we are:

Research Projects:

Latest KKH group news:


August 2016:


Changkun's work

'Synthesis of isoindolinones by Pd-catalyzed coupling between N-methoxybenzamide and styrene derivatives'

is accepted for publication in J. Org. Chem.


Valerie's work on

'Synthesis, structure and catalytic activity of NHC-Ag(I) carboxylate complexes '

published in Chem. Eur. J.



May 2016:


Ben's (B) work 'Goldilocks Effect of Water in Lewis-Bronsted Acid and Base Catalysis' is published in ACS Catal.


January 2016:


Mimi is appointed as Editor-in-Chief to Chemistry Central Journal.



October 2015:


Valerie's work on structure and bonding of [(NHC)AgX] complex is published in Chem. Commun. This work is available to view via Open Access.
















A PhD studentship in the area of Catalysis in Flow is available. For more details, contact Dr. Mimi Hii.


If you wish to explore funding opportunities, please contact Dr. Mimi Hii.


We are grateful to the following organisations for their support:

DSM logoGSK logoPfizer logoJason's thesis submission partyRSC logoPPG logo

Beer-and-snooker night (KKH and SDG groups): Czech Club, West Hampstead, 2 December 2015. Left (top to bottom): Ethan, John, Chris, Andrew, Violet, Filip; Right (top to bottom): BenD, Ilia, BenZ, Philip, Silvia. Not in picture: Mimi (photographer!), BenB (in Hong Kong), Snooker tables...

Recent Publications:

Abstract: An atom-economical protocol for a tandem process involving Fujiwara-Moritani-aza-Wacker reactions has been developed . The generality of the methodology was demonstrated by the synthesis of a library of 25 3-benzylidene isoindolinones in moderate to good yields. A further 40 3-benzyl derivatives were obtained by telescoping the process with a catalytic hydrogenation reaction. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.6b01696

Abstract: The presence of an optimal amount of water is critical for success in Pd-catalyzed aza-Michael addition involving electronic-rich phenylenediamine derivatives. DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.6b00800

Abstract: A general synthetic route was used to prepare of 15 new N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) silver(I) complexes bearing anionic carboxylate ligands, [Ag(NHC)(O2CR)], including a homologous series of complexes of sterically flexible ITent ligands, permitting a systematic spectroscopic and theoretical study of the structural and electronic structures of these compounds. The complexes displayed significant ligand accelerated effect in the intramolecular cyclisation of propargylic amides to oxazolidines. The substrate scope is highly complementary to that achieved previously by NHC-Au and pyridyl-silver(I) complexes. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201601762