HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.
Thomas J J Muller, Speaker at Catalysis Conferences
Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf, Germany
Title : With one catalyst in multiple steps in One-pot Fashion - Sequentially palladium-catalyzed processes for the synthesis of functional heterocycles


One-pot reactions, if conducted in a consecutive, sequential or domino fashion, promise a highly efficient and efficacious synthetic access to many functional molecules of interest. In particular, heterocyclic systems are interesting due to their vast spectrum of applications. Transition metal catalyzed multi-component sequences have recently gained a considerable interest since they enable transformations with high tolerance of functional groups. Over the years we have established Pd-catalyzed entries to ynones, diynones, diynes, enals, enones, and boronates, which are valuable intermediates for in situ transformation into complex molecules in a one-pot fashion. Likewise, sequentially Pd-catalyzed processes have opened new avenues to one-pot syntheses of numerous classes of heterocyclic frameworks. Most interestingly, in sequentially Pd-catalyzed processes the same catalyst source is operative a second time without further catalyst addition. This one-pot methodological concept is most elegantly applied to the syntheses of various classes of functional heterocycles, ranging from functional chromophores and electrophores to luminophore, and as a key step in very concise syntheses of marine alkaloids, kinase inhibitors and anti-infectiva. By virtue, concise accesses to substance libraries of interest in organic materials and life sciences are efficiently enabled.

Audience take-away:

  • Multicomponent reactions allow for assembling relatively complex structures in a concise and efficient way.
  • Substance libraries are readily obtained with avoiding multi-step and multi-work up operations.
  • Enhanced lead finding can be done in a one-process more efficaciously and this is always superior to multi-operation sequences. 
  • The conceptual approach is a reactivity-based concatenation of quite various reactivity of the underlying functionalities in a single reaction vessel to allow for a concise sequence. 
  • The combination of catalytic and even catalyst economic one-pot methodologies with targeting functional molecules of interest (chromophores, electrophores, fluorophores, pharmacophores) provides novel structures but simultaneously represents a greener approach to efficient chemistry, which is definitively in the focus at times of climate change and shrinking resources.


Thomas J. J. Müller studied chemistry (1984-1989) at the University of München (LMU) (diploma 1989; Ph.D. 1992). After a post-doctoral stay at Stanford University (1993/1994), he developed his independent research at Technical University Darmstadt and LMU (1994-1999; habilitation 2000). After a professorship at the University of Heidelberg (2002-2006) he is a chaired full professor at the University of Düsseldorf since 2006, and since 2019 the spokesman of the Research Training Group 2482 funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). His research interests encompass synthetic and physical-organic chemistry of functional chromophores, and the design of novel one-pot reactions, documented in more than 300 publications.