Organometallic chemistry


Head: Dr. Petr Štěpnička

Professional CV:

v Assistant Professor

v B.Sc. (1993), M.Sc. (1995), and Ph.D. (1998) from Faculty of Science, Charles University

v Post-doctoral fellow with Professor Tamotsu Takahashi

at Catalysis Research Centre, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan (1999)

v Research fellow with Professor Pierre H. Dixneuf

at University of Rennes (1996)

v Recipient of the Charles University Rector Award (1995), Chemistry Award sponsored by Rhne-Poulenc (1996), and an Award of the Czech Chemical Society for Diploma Thesis (1996)

v Investigator of grant projects awarded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic and Grant Agency of Charles University

Group Members:

M.Sc. students

Martin Lamač

Jan Demel



Jiř Schulz

Jiř Tauchman



Address: Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Charles University

Hlavova 2030, 128 40 Prague

Czech Republic


Phone: +420 221 951 260

Fax: +420 221 951 253



Last update: Dezember 2004

Research Interests

Synthetic organometallic chemistry directed towards new ligands, complexes, materials, and catalysts

We are interested in the chemistry of functionalized phosphines derived from ferrocene, focusing mainly on
ferrocene phosphinocarboxylic acids. Compounds of this type, which combine various donor groups, are versatile and highly variable ligands, capable of coordinating to almost any transition metal and in diverse coordination modes including hemilabile ones.


The history of ferrocenecarboxylic acid started in 1996, when we reported about the first compound of this class, Hdpf (see Figure below). Since then we have synthesized a range of the related compounds and studied their coordination and structural chemistry. More recently, we turned also to applications of the ligands and complexes in catalysis of organic reactions (e.g., Heck and Suzuki coupling reactions, Pd-catalyzed allylic substitution), and further synthetic utility of the phosphinocarboxylic ligands in organometallic synthesis.

This led us also to further extensions of ferrocene chemistry towards, e.g., to organometallic chemistry of ferrocene alkynes (as ligands and synthons), and applications of ferrocene compounds in the preparation of self-assembled crystalline materials and ferrocene labelled biomolecules.


To characterize new compounds synthesized in our group, we combine the standard solid-state measurements (X-ray diffraction) and spectral methods (NMR, IR, UV-vis and MS) with special techniques such as electrochemical measurements and 57Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy to help understanding of variations to the structures studied for further ligand development. More information about our research interests can be obtained from the listing of publications.


We have collaborative research projects with the groups of:

Dr. Karel Mach (organometallic synthesis)

Professor Jiř Čejka (catalysis) and

Dr. Jiř Ludvk (electrochemistry) all from the J. Heyrovsk Institute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Professor Anna M. Trzeciak and Professor Jzef J. Ziolkowski at the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Wroclaw, Poland (catalysis)

Professor Martin Kotora at the Department of Organic chemistry, Faculty of Science, Charles University (organic ferrocene derivatives)

Professor Dalimil Dvořk from the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague (organometallic chemistry)

Dr. Martin Hocek at Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ferrocene-labelled purines)