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On the way to develop a green and environment-friendly chemistry, our group exploits the complexing properties of cyclodextrins (CDs) in catalytic processes. CDs are water soluble cyclic oligosaccharides consisting of glucopyranose units. They possess a hydrophobic cavity capable of accommodating organic “guest” molecules according to a reversible process.
During these last years, CDs have greatly contributed to the development of innovative homogeneous or heterogeneous catalytic processes. Besides their molecular recognition ability, CDs have also been used to i) design new homogeneous catalysts, ii) disperse and stabilize heterogeneous catalysts in aqueous phase, iii) generate unconventional reaction media, to name only a few applications. Throughout these properties, CDs appear as multifunctional entities capable of improving the efficacy of catalytic processes in aqueous media.
The research activities of the team are currently organized along four main directions: