top of page
  • Twitter

Design of Organometallic Molecules and Applications


The group Design of Organometallic Molecules and Applications was established by the end of 2016 at the Institute of Chemical Research in Sevilla (Spain), a mixed research center CSIC-University of Sevilla. We are currently located in the new building at lab203.

The primary aim of our research team is to synthesize organometallic molecules with specific electronic and steric properties enabling the activation and functionalization of different types of bonds. We are interested in developing new efficient catalysts, with a important effort in the understanding of the mechanisms by which the metal complexes operate. Also, we focuse on fundamental aspects elucidating the detailed electronic structure and reactivity patterns of the organometallic molecules. As such, our research program spans the areas of organic synthesis, catalysis, and organometallic chemistry. Currently, we are dealing with group 10 transition metals (mainly nickel and platinum) stabilized by pincer bis(phosphino)boryl and N-heterocyclic carbene ligands and exploring their potential in carbon dioxide transformation and dehydrocoupling processes leading to B-N, Si-N, C-Si and C-B bonds.

Furthermore, we are currently dealing with the synthesis of metal nanoparticles of gold and platinum and their potential use in catalysis.

Lab 203


Grupo 2022-2.jpg

Present Members

The group

Salvador Conejero

Research Scientist -CSIC


Amor Rodríguez

Tenured Scientist -CSIC


Pablo Ríos 

Associate professor

Foto Orestes_edited.jpg

Orestes Rivada Wheelaghan

Ramón y Cajal researcher

Foto carlos Laglera.jpg

Carlos J. Laglera Gándara

Postdoctoral researcher

Foto Carlos III.jpg

Carlos García Bellido

Postdoctoral researcher

Foto Neri.jpg

Juan Alfredo Cayuela Castillo

PhD student

Foto Natalia.jpg

Natalia Salas León

PhD student

Miguel Ángel Martín Neri

PhD student

Foto Carlos.jpg

Carlos Martínez Ceberio

PhD student

Past Members


Leonardo C.  Moraes (PhD Thesis, 2018)


Hugo Fouilloux (internship from École Polytechnique, Paris) (2015)


Marta Roselló Merino (PhD thesis, 2013)


José Antonio Fernández Molina (Technician, 2018)

Lucía Álvarez Rodríguez (posdoctoral researcher)

Julián Jiménez Pérez (Master degree, University of Sevilla)

Andrea Jurado Escribano (Master degree, University of Sevilla)

Marina Barturen (Master degree, University of Sevilla)

Macarena Garcia Ayala (Master degree, University of Sevilla)

Raquel J. Rama (internship from the University of Sevilla)

Félix León (internship from the University of Sevilla)



Research in the group of Design of Organometallic Molecules and Applications is focused on three main topics:

1. Low-electron count platinum complexes stabilized by N-heterocyclic carbenes

During the last years we have been involved in the isolation of stable, yet reactive, cationic Pt(II) 14-electron species making use of the excellent stereoelectronic properties of N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. The reactivity of these compounds has allowed to synthesize unusual platinum complexes in the oxidation state +3 and +4.


14-electron Pt(II) complexes interact with dihydrogen, boranes and silanes to form sigma-complexes that can undergo further reactivity in catalytic reactions

2. Nickel complexes bearing bis(phosphino)boryl pincer ligands.

This project  is focused on a rational design, by means of using pincer-like ligands based of diphosphinoboryls (PBP), of group 10 metal catalysts able to promote different catalytic transformations that include small molecules activation (H2, CO2, boranes,…). An important part of our research is the investigation of the mechanisms that operate in this transformations and the influence of the boryl group in this processes.  

3. Synthesis of metal nanoparticles

In the last few years we have been involved in a new research program aim at the synthesis of metal nanoparticles stabilized by N-heterocyclic carbene ligands and by N-heterocyclic thiones. Part of the research has been carried out in collaboration with the groups of Bruno Chaudret (Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie des Nano-Objets, Toulouse) and Karine Philippot (Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination, CNRS, Toulouse).



Some selected publications:

Electrophilic Hydrosilylation of Electron-Rich Alkenes Derived from Enamines


Carlos J. Laglera-Gándara, Julián Jiménez-Pérez, Francisco J. Fernández-de-Córdova, Pablo Ríos, Salvador Conejero

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2024, DOI: /10.1002/anie.202404859

TOC REVISED_edited_edited.jpg
Amor ACIE.jpg

Cleavage of Carbon Dioxide C=O Bond Promoted by Nickel-Boron Cooperativity in a PBP-Ni Complex


Lucía Álvarez-Rodríguez, Pablo Ríos, Carlos J. Laglera-Gándara, Andrea Jurado, Francisco José Fernández de Córdova, T. Brent Gunnoe, Amor Rodríguez

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2023, 62, e202306315


Ethylene dimerization and oligomerization using bis(phosphino)boryl supported Ni Complexes


Fanji Kong, Pablo Ríos, Conno Hauck, Francisco José Fernández de Córdova, Diane A. Dickie, Laurel G. Habgood, Amor Rodríguez, T. Brent Gunnoe

J. Am. Chem. Soc.  2023, 145, 179-193


Electrocatalytic CO2 reduction with a binuclear bis-terpyridine pyrazole-bridged cobalt complex


Antoine Bohn, Juan José Moreno, Pierre Thuéry, Marc Robert, Orestes Rivada–Wheelaghan

Chem. Eur. J.  2023, 29, e202202361. 

Articulo orestes.jpg

σ-GeH and Germyl Cationic Pt(II) Complexes


Carlos J. Laglera-Gándara​, Pablo Ríos, ​Francisco José Fernández-de-Córdova, Marina Barturen, Israel Fernández, Salvador Conejero

Inorg. Chem.  2022, 61, 20848-20859

(Article Selected as Front Cover)

CHEMEURJ 2022.jpg

Highly Efficient Synthesis of Poly(silylether)s: Access to Degradable Polymers from Renewable Resources


Hugo Fouilloux, Marie-Noelle Rager, Pablo Ríos, Salvador Conejero, Christophe M. Thomas

Angew Chem. Int. Ed.  2022, 61, e202113443. 


Hydrosilylation of Carbonyl Compounds Catalyzed by a Nickel complex bearing a PBP-ligand


Jose Antonio Fernández, Juan Manuel García, Pablo Ríos, Amor Rodríguez

Eur. J. Inorg. Chem.  2021, 2993-2998. 

Article for the special collection for GEQO and RSEQ prize winners:

Prize winners.tif

Article for the special collection for GEQO and RSEQ prize winners selected for the Front Cover:

Prize winners.tif

Ambiphilic Boryl Groups in a Neutral Ni(II) Complex: A New Activation Mode of H2


Pablo Ríos, Francisco José Fernández-de-Córdova, Javier Borge, Giuseppe Sciortino, Agustí Lledos and Amor Rodríguez

Chem. Sci.  2021, 12, 2540. 

TOC ChemSci Amor.jpg
Cover ChemSci.tif

σ-Silane Platinum(II) Complexes as Intermediates in C−Si Bond Coupling Processes

Pablo Ríos, Hugo Fouilloux, Pietro Vidossich, Josefina Díez, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero


Chem. Eur. J2019, 25, 11346-11355.

TOC editado.jpg

Ligand Effects on the Selective Hydrogenation of Nitrobenzene to Cyclohexylamine Using Ruthenium Nanoparticles as Catalyst

M. Rosa Axet, Salvador Conejero, Iann C. Gerber


ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2018, 1, 5885-5894.

Nano Mat.jpg

Platinum Complexes with a Phosphino‐Oxime/Oximate Ligand

Javier Francos, Javier Borge, Salvador Conejero, Victorio Cadierno


Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2018, 3176-3186.


Isolation of a Cationic Pt(II) σ-Silane Complex

Pablo Ríos, Hugo Fouilloux, Pietro Vidossich, Josefina Díez, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero


Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 3217-3221.

Selective Catalytic Synthesis of Amino-Silanes at Part-per Million Catalyst Loadings

Pablo Rios, Marta Rosello-Merino, Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Javier Borge, Joaquin Lopez-Serrano, Salvador Conejero


Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 619.

Stabilisation of gold nanoparticles by N-heterocyclic thiones

Leonardo C. Moraes, Bertrand Lacroix, Rute C. Figueiredo, Patricia Lara, Javier Rojo, Salvador Conejero


Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 8367.

Cationic Platinum(II) sigma-Silane complexes in Carbon Dioxide Hydrosilation

Pablo Ríos, Josefina Díez, Joaquín López-Serrano, Amor Rodríguez, Salvador Conejero


Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 16791.

Catalytic dehydrocoupling of amine-boranes and amines into diaminoboranes. Isolation of a Pt(II), Shimoi-type, eta1-BH complex

Marta Roselló-Merino, Raquel J. Rama, Josefina Díez, Salvador Conejero


Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 8389.

Selective reduction of carbon dioxide to bis(silyl)acetal catalyzed by a PBP-supported nickel complex

Pablo Ríos, Natalia Curado, Joaquín López-Serrano, Amor Rodríguez


Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 2114.

NHC-Stabilized Ru Nanoparticles: Synthesis and Surface Studies

P. Lara, L. M. Martínez-Prieto, M. Roselló-Merino, C. Richter, F. Glorius, S. Conejero, K. Philippot, B. Chaudret


Nano-Struct. Nano-Objects, 2016, 6, 39.

Hydride Ligands Orbiting around Low-Coordinate Metal Centres

Manuel A. Ortuño, Pietro Vidossich, Salvador Conejero, Agustí Lledós


Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 14158.

Boryl-assisted hydrogenolysis of a nickel–methyl bond

Natalia Curado, Celia Maya, Joaquín López-Serrano, Amor Rodríguez


Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 15718.

A Stable, Mononuclear, Cationic Pt(III) Complex Stabilised by Bulky N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

Pablo J. Alonso, Josefina Díez, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero


Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 1299.

Formation of C–X Bonds through Stable Low-Electron-Count Cationic Platinum(IV) Alkyl Complexes Stabilized by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Marta Roselló-Merino, Josefina Díez, Celia Maya, Joaquín López-Serrano, Salvador Conejero


Organometallics 2014,33, 5944-5947.


Coordinatively Unsaturated T-Shaped Platinum(II) Complexes Stabilized by Small N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands. Synthesis and Cyclometalation

Marta Roselló-Merino, Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Manuel A. Ortuño, Pietro Vidossich, Josefina Díez, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero


Organometallics 201433, 3746-3756.


Reactivity of Coordinatively Unsaturated Bis(N-heterocyclic carbene) Pt(II) Complexes toward H2. Crystal Structure of a 14-Electron Pt(II) Hydride Complex

Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Marta Roselló-Merino, Manuel Ortuño, Pietro Vidossich, Enrique Gutiérrez-Puebla, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero


Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 4257-4268.

TOC inorg chem 2014.tif

Dehydrocoupling reactions of dimethylamine-borane by Pt(II) complexes: a new mechanism involving deprotonation of boronium cations

Marta Roselló-Merino, Joaquín López-Serrano, Salvador Conejero


J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013,135, 10910.

Water-Soluble Gold(I) and Gold(III) Complexes with Sulfonated NHC Ligands: Synthesis, Characterization and Application in the Catalytic Cycloisomerization of γ-Alkynoic Acids into Enol-Lactones

Eder Tomás-Mendivil, Patrick Toullec, Javier Borge, Salvador Conejero, Veronique Michelet, Victorio Cadierno


ACS Catalysis 2013,3, 3086.

ACS Cat.jpg

Characterization of a Mononuclear, Paramagnetic Pt(III)-Alkyl Complex Intermediate in Carbon-Halogen Coupling Reactions

Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Manuel A. Ortuño, Josefina Díez, Sergio E. García Garrido, Celia Maya, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero


J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 15261.

Tuning N-Heterocyclic Carbenes in T-Sahped Pt(II) Complexes for Intermolecular C-H Bond Activation of Arenes

Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Manuel A. Ortuño, Josefina Díez, Agustí Lledós, Salvador Conejero

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 3936.

ACIE 2012.jpg

Ruthenium Nanoparticles Stabilized by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Ligand Location and Influence on Reactivity

Patricia Lara, Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Salvador Conejero, Romual Poteau, Karine Philippot, Bruno Chaudret.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 12080-12084.


T-Shaped Platinum(II) Complexes Stabilised by Bulky N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands

Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan, Bruno Donnadieu, Josefina Díez, Salvador Conejero.

Chem. Eur. J. 2010, 16, 10323-10326.

TOC Chemistry 2010.tif
TOC chem commun2010.tif



The lab

Crystals of the Pt(III) complex [Pt(I)2(IPr)2][BArF]

Premios CicCartuja 2018.tif

Salva in the Ebro Foods Prize ceremony recieving Pablo Ríos prize (second accesit) for his article "Isolation of a Cationic Pt(II) σ-Silane Complex" in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2018).

Premio GEQO 2018 POSTER.jpg

Pablo receiving the Ebro Foods prize (second accesit) for his article "Mechanistic Studies on the Selective Reduction of CO2 to the Aldehyde Level by a Bis(phosphino)boryl (PBP)-Supported Nickel Complex" in ACS Catalysis (2016).

Leo stretching in the glove-box

Salva at the GEQO Congress held in Zaragoza (2018)

Cristales Pt-Ge.jpg
Cristales Pt-Ge.-2jpg.jpg

The other lab

Feria de abril 2024 corregida.jpg

Feria de Abril 2024

Lab 2023.jpg

Paco's farewell


BBQ at Orestes's house 2023

Navidad 2023.jpg

Christmas 2023

Navidad 2022.jpg

Christmas 2022

Grupo 2023.jpg

At the LAB203 terrace

Sitges 2017





PID2022-141925NB-I00 (9.2023-8.2026)
PID2019-109312GB-I00 (6.2020-5.2023)
CTQ2016-76267-P (12.2016-12.2019)
CTQ2013-45011-P (1.2014-12.2016)


ProyExcel_00758 (8.2022-12.2025)
P20_00513 (6.2020-12.2022)
FQM 2126 (5.2014-2.2019)
FQM 3151 (1.2008-12.2012)


2023AEP091 (6.2023-11.2023)
AEPP CTQ2016-76267-P (15.2020-12.2020)



841154 (8.19-7.22)



"Garantía Juvenil" PROGRAM (2022): Our group has been awarded with one contract for graduate students.  If you are interested in applying with us please send us an e-mail (see contact details below). Grants will have a duration of 12 months. Check the following link:


JUAN DE LA CIERVA POSTDOCTORAL GRANTS AND RAMÓN Y CAJAL TENURE CONTRACTS: We are constantly looking for people who would like to join our group through these calls. If you are interested in applying with us for a pos-doctoral contract within the Juan de la Cierva (JdC) program there are two options depending on your PhD experience:

· Juan de la Cierva Training: A 2 years contract for doctors having obtained a doctorate in the last 2 years.

· Juan de la Cierva Incorporation: A 3 years contract for doctors with previous postdoctoral training.

The Ramón y Cajal contracts are 5 years grants aimed at promoting the incorporation of national and foreign researchers with an outstanding career in R&D centers.

For incoming calls check this link:

Besides we'll be happy to host postdoctoral fellows from other  programs (Marie Curie, Talentia,....)



Salvador Conejero: (Phone: (+34)954 139 275) 
Amor Rodríguez: (Phone: (+34)954 139 276)
Lab:Phone: (+34)954 139 261) 

Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas

C/ Américo Vespucio 49


Sevilla (Spain)

bottom of page