Synthetic chemistry

The group focuses on development of new useful molecules and synthetic transformations, by means of modern tools of organic chemistry and structural analysis. The missions of the group is finding new reactions and elucidation of their mechanisms, discovery of bioactive cores, and fabrication of photoactive molecules with applications in pharmaceutical, materials and light technology.

Research focus and goals

The main goal of the group is to create an intellectual environment for ambitious research in synthetic chemistry, and provide solution for specific problems of recognised societal impact. The three main lines of research are:

  1. new materials for light energy utilization
  2. new antimicrobial chemical agents
  3. valorisation of natural resources.

Our research activities encompass on internationally recognized synthetic expertise; high-resolution spectroscopy methods; computational Density Functional Theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT studies; collaborative network with chemists, physicists and biologists from other research groups.

Our projects:

  • Materials for light energy utilisation: Organic dyes and supramolecular structures for solar cells and energy devices. (Led by A. Efimov)
  • Light-activated antimicrobial materials: Photodynamic inactivation of pathogens, which employs a photosensitizer. Upon light irradiation, the dye generates highly reactive oxygen species, which in turn destroy the microbes via oxidative action. (Led by A. Efimov)
  • Bio-derived compounds as raw materials for synthesis: We aim at the defunctionalization of naturally available raw materials for production of fine chemicals. (Led by N. Candeias)
  • Preparation of bioactive molecules: Petasis borono-Mannich reaction has been use to prepare alkylaminophenols with promising biological properties as antitumour and antibacterial agents. (Led by N. Candeias)


Alexander Efimov

Nuno Rafael Candeias