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Organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis (OCHC)


Admission requirements

Core course in MSc Chemistry – Energy and Sustainability, elective course in MSc Chemistry.
Students with a BSc degree in MST (with a major in Chemistry for students who started before September 2017), or a BSc degree in Chemistry or equivalent can enroll in this course.
Other candidates should have a solid background in coordination chemistry, including understanding of sigma and pi donation, pi back-donation, electron count of transition metal compounds, 18 and 16 electron rule.


The course starts with the fundamental principles of coordination and organometallic chemistry: after a short recapitulation of the principles of coordination chemistry and electron counting, the basics will be discussed of stability and reactivity, reaction mechanisms, steric and electronic influence of the ligands on reactivity of the metal centers. In the second part of the course this knowledge will be used in the discussion of various homogeneously catalysed reactions, notably double bond isomerisation, (enantioselective) hydrogenation, hydroformylation, hydrocarboxylation, oligo- and polymerisation and alkene methathesis. In the lectures attention will be given to the applications of homogeneous catalysis in industrial processes and academic research.

Course objectives

At the end of the course students:

  • will have knowledge of fundamental principles of organometallic chemistry,

  • will be able to apply the fundamental principles of homogeneous catalysis,

  • will be able to evaluate a reaction or process based on the principles of atom-efficiency and sustainable chemistry,

  • will be able to construct a mechanism of various homogeneously catalysed reactions,

  • will be able to construct tentative catalytic mechanisms also for reactions that were not discussed in class.


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and exercises

Assessment method

Closed book written examination (100%)
Dependent on the corona measures in place at the time of the final exam, the final assessment may need to be replaced by an online open book exam.

Reading List

The course is based on the following book: R.H. Crabtree, The Organometallic Chemistry of the Transition Metals, Wiley Interscience (6th Ed: ISBN: 978-1-118-13807-6 or earlier editions). Slides presented during the courses Exercises


Register for this course via uSis


Prof.dr. Lies Bouwman


According to OER article 4.8, students are entitled to view their marked examination for a period of 30 days following the publication of the results of a written examination. Students should contact the lecturer to make an appointment for such an inspection session.