School of Chemistry

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Bao Nguyen

Tenure Track Fellow
Member of the Process Research and Development group

Contact details

Room: G17
Tel: +44 (0)113 3430109


Physical Organic Chemistry
Mechanisms of catalytic reactions
Novel spectroscopic and analytical techniques
Carbon dioxide as synthons in synthesis
Nanoparticles as catalysts
Synthetic electrochemical processes

Photograph of Bao Nguyen

Research interests

Our group is interested in understanding mechanism of catalytic processes and improving them, and development of novel technologies in chemical research (e.g. new types of reactors or nanoparticle catalysts). The research is highly collaborative, in both academia and industry, and focuses on the interdisciplinary interface between Physical/Organic/Process Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The current research themes in the group are:

  • CO2 utilisation as chemical feedstock
  • Mechanistic studies and improvement of metal catalysed coupling reactions
  • Synchrotron-based of X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy (XAFS) as a mechanistic tool for homogeneous catalytic reactions.
  • Electrochemical flow-reactors for precious metal recovery and catalytic reactions.

Useful links

Research group pages   
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Complex Particulate Products and Processes   


Newton MA, Nicholls R, Brazier JB, Nguyen BN, Mulligan CJ, Hellgardt K, Barreiro EM, Emerich H, Hii KKM, Snigireva I, Thompson PBJ Effect of retained chlorine in ENCAT™ 30 catalysts on the development of encapsulated Pd: insights from in situ Pd K, L₃ and Cl K-edge XAS Catalysis, Structure&Reactivity 3 149-156, 2017
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Brazier JB, Newton MA, Barreiro EM, Parry S, Adrio LA, Mulligan CJ, Hellgardt K, Hii KKM, Thompson PBJ, Nichols R, Nguyen BN Effects of Cl on the reduction of supported PdO in ethanol/water solvent mixtures Catalysis, Structure&Reactivity 3 54-62, 2017
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Chapman MR, Henkelis SE, Kapur N, Nguyen BN, Willans CE A Straightforward Electrochemical Approach to Imine- and Amine-bisphenolate Metal Complexes with Facile Control Over Metal Oxidation State ChemistryOpen 5 351-356, 2016
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Chapman MR, Kwan MHT, King GE, Kyffin BA, Blacker AJ, Willans CE, Nguyen BN Rapid, metal-free and aqueous synthesis of imidazo[1,2-: A] pyridine under ambient conditions Green Chemistry 18 4623-4627, 2016
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Thompson PBJ, Nguyen BN, Nicholls R, Bourne RA, Brazier JB, Lovelock KRJ, Brown SD, Wermeille D, Bikondoa O, Lucas CA, Hase TPA, Newton MA X-ray spectroscopy for chemistry in the 2-4 keV energy regime at the XMaS beamline: ionic liquids, Rh and Pd catalysts in gas and liquid environments, and Cl contamination in gamma-Al2O3 Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 22 1426-1439, 2015
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Nguyen BN, Adrio LA, Albrecht T, White AJP, Newton MA, Nachtegaal M, Figueroa SJA, Hii KK Electronic structures of cyclometalated palladium complexes in the higher oxidation states Dalton Transactions 44 16586-16591, 2015
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Chapman MR, Lake BRM, Pask CM, Nguyen BN, Willans CE Solid-state structure, solution-state behaviour and catalytic activity of electronically divergent C,N-chelating palladium-N-heterocyclic carbene complexes Dalton Transactions 44 15938-15948, 2015
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Sherborne GJ, Nguyen BN Recent XAS studies into Homogeneous metal catalyst in fine chemical and pharmaceutical syntheses Chemistry Central Journal 9 -, 2015
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Sherborne GJ, Chapman MR, Blacker AJ, Bourne RA, Chamberlain TW, Crossley BD, Lucas SJ, Mcgowan PC, Newton MA, Screen TEO, Thompson P, Willans CE, Nguyen BN Activation and deactivation of a robust immobilized Cp*Ir-transfer hydrogenation catalyst: A multielement in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy study Journal of the American Chemical Society 137 4151-4157, 2015
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Chapman MR, Shafi YM, Kapur N, Nguyen BN, Willans CE Electrochemical flow-reactor for expedient synthesis of copper-N-heterocyclic carbene complexes Chemical Communications 51 1282-1284, 2015
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Brazier JB, Nguyen BN, Adrio LA, Barreiro EM, Leong WP, Newton MA, Figueroa SJA, Hellgardt K, Hii KKM Catalysis in flow: Operando study of Pd catalyst speciation and leaching Catalysis Today 229 95-103, 2014
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Nicholls R, Kaufhold S, Nguyen BN Observation of guanidine-carbon dioxide complexation in solution and its role in reaction of carbon dioxide and propargylamines Catalysis Science&Technology 4 3458-3462, 2014
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Nicholls RL, Pask CM, Nguyen B Crystal structure of poly[μ-acetato-bis[μ-2-oxo-2-(quinolin-8-yl)ethanoato]trisodium] Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online 70 m385-m386, 2014
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Nguyen BN, Adrio LA, Guilera G, Livingston AG, Hii KK Speciation of Pd(OAc)2 in ligandless Suzuki–Miyaura reactions Catalysis Science and Technology 2 316-323, 2012
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Nguyen BN, Adrio LA, Barreiro EM, Brazier JB, Haycock P, Hii KK, Nachtegaal M, Newton MA, Szlachetko J Deconvolution of the Mechanism of Homogeneous Gold-Catalyzed Reactions Organometallics 31 2395-2402, 2012
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Nguyen BN, Emmett EJ, Richards-Taylor CS, Garcia-Rubia A, Hayter BR, Willis MC Palladium-catalysed aminosulfonylation of aryl-, alkenyl- and heteroaryl halides: scope of the three-component synthesis of N-aminosulfonamides Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry 10 4007-4014, 2012
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Nguyen BN, Hii KK, Szymańskik W Conjugate Addition Reactions In Stereoselective Synthesis , 2011
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Nguyen BN, Emmett EJ, Willis MC Palladium-Catalyzed Aminosulfonylation of Aryl Halides Journal of the American Chemical Society 132 16372-16373, 2010
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Nguyen BN, Brown JM Stereoselectivity in the Rhodium-Catalysed Reductions of Non-Conjugated Dienes Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis 351 1333-1343, 2009
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Nguyen BN, Punniyamurthy T, Mayr M, Dorofeev AS, Bataille CJR, Gosiewska S, Cowley AR, Brown JM Enantiomerically pure bicyclo[3.3.1]nona-2,6-diene as the sole source of enantioselectivity in BIPHEP-Rh asymmetric hydrogenation Chemical Communications 5092-5094, 2008
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Nguyen BN, Chernous K, Endlar D, Odell B, Piacenti M, Brown JM, Dorofeev AS, Burasov AV Alkyl Radical Generation in Water under Ambient Conditions— A New Look at the Guareschi Reaction of 1897 Angewandte Chemie International Edition 46 7655-7658, 2007
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Nguyen BN, Baker RW, Foulkes MA, Griggs M A new synthesis of 3-substituted-1H-indenes through reaction of o-(β-magnesioalkyl)phenylmagnesium dihalides with carboxylate esters Tetrahedron Letters 43 9319-9322, 2002
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Nguyen BN Deconvolution of the Mechanism of Homogeneous Gold-Catalyzed Reactions,
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Nguyen BN, Brown JM Stereoselective Hydroboration and Diboration of Carbon-Carbon Double Bonds In Stereoselective Synthesis ,
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Nguyen NB On Activation of Carbon Dioxide Using Guanidines,
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Chapman MR, Kwan MHT, King G, Jolley KE, Hussain M, Hussain S, Salama IE, González Nino C, Thompson LA, Bayana ME, Clayton A, Nguyen BN, Turner NJ, Kapur N, Blacker AJ A Simple and Versatile Laboratory Scale CSTR for Multiphasic Continuous-Flow Chemistry and Long Residence Times Organic Process Research&Development -,
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Sherborne GJ, Adomeit S, Menzel R, Rabeah J, Bruckner A, Fielding MR, Willans CE, Nguyen BN Origins of High Catalyst Loading in Copper(I)-Catalysed Ullmann- Goldberg C-N Coupling Reactions Chemical Science -,
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