Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Advanced Catalysis Research Group

Group Director: Zhaomin Hou (D.Eng.)
Zhaomin  Hou(D.Eng.)

Our group aims to develop new generations of catalysts, which are complementary or superior to the existing ones, for applications in efficient utilization of untapped resources and the synthesis of fine chemicals and functional polymer materials. Particular interests are directed to: (1) activation and utilization of N2 for the synthesis of ammonia and nitrogen-containing organic compounds under mild conditions, (2) utilization of CO2 as a chemical feedstock for the synthesis of high-value added fine chemicals, and (3) synthesis of high-performance polymer materials by selective copolymerization of commodity monomers having different properties.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Humanities & Social sciences

Research Subjects

  • Activation and efficient use of dinitrogen
  • Activation and efficient use of carbon dioxide for organic synthesis
  • Organo rare-earth catalysts for precision polymerization and organic synthesis

Selected Publications

  1. Ma, Y., Wang, B., Zhang, L. and Hou, Z.:
    "Boron-Catalyzed Aromatic C–H Bond Silylation with Hydrosilanes"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 3663-3666 (2016).
  2. Nishiura M., Guo F., and Hou, Z.:
    "Half-Sandwich Rare-Earth-Catalyzed Olefin Polymerization, Carbometalation, and Hydroarylation"
    Acc. Chem. Res. 48, 2209-2220.(2015).
  3. Song, G., O, W. W. N. and Hou, Z.:
    "Enantioselective C−H Bond Addition of Pyridines to Alkenes Catalyzed by Chiral Half-Sandwich Rare-Earth Complexes"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 12209−12212 (2014).
  4. Hu, S., Shima, T. and Hou, Z.:
    "Carbon-Carbon Bond Cleavage and Rearrangement of Benzene by a Trinuclear Titanium Hydride"
    Nature 512, 413-415 (2014).
  5. Shima, T., Hu, S., Luo, G., Kang, X., Luo, Y. and Hou, Z.:
    "Dinitrogen Cleavage and Hydrogenation by a Trinuclear Titanium Polyhydride Complex"
    Science, 340, 1549-1552 (2013).
  6. Zhang, L. and Hou, Z.:
    "N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC)-Copper-Catalysed Transformations of Carbon Dioxide"
    Chem. Sci. 4, 3395-3403 (2013).
  7. Oyamada, J. and Hou, Z.:
    "Regioselective C-H Alkylation of Anisoles with Olefins Catalyzed by Cationic Half-Sandwich Rare Earth Alkyl Complexes"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51, 12828-12832 (2012).
  8. Zhang, L., Cheng, J., Carry, B. and Hou, Z.:
    "Catalytic Boracarboxylation of Alkynes with Diborane and Carbon Dioxide by an N-Heterocyclic Carbene Copper Catalyst "
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 14314-14317 (2012).
  9. Guan, B. and Hou, Z.:
    "Rare-Earth-Catalyzed C-H Bond Addition of Pyridine to Olefins"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 18086-18089 (2011).
  10. Ohishi, T., Zhang, L., Nishiura, M. and Hou, Z.:
    "Carboxylation of Alkylboranes by N-Heterocyclic Carbene Copper Catalysts: Synthesis of Carboxylic Acids from Terminal Alkenes and Carbon Dioxide"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 8114-8117 (2011).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Zhaomin Hou
Group Director

Core Members

Satoshi Kamiguchi
Senior Research Scientist
Masayoshi Nishiura
Senior Research Scientist
Takanori Shima
Senior Research Scientist
Masanori Takimoto
Senior Research Scientist
Liang Zhang
Research Scientist
Shaowei Hu
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Chunxiang Wang
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Ching Tat To
Foreign Postdoctoral Researcher
Huailong Teng
Postdoctoral Researcher
Gen Luo
Postdoctoral Researcher
Haobing Wang
Postdoctoral Researcher
Can Xue
Postdoctoral Researcher
Shaojie Lou
Postdoctoral Researcher
Yusuke Saito
Postdoctoral Researcher
Zhenghua Li
Postdoctoral Researcher
Yu Pan
Postdoctoral Researcher
Yat Ming So
Postdoctoral Researcher
Yang Yang
Technical Staff I
Hisashi Soga
Technical Staff II

Contact information

S608 Chemistry and Materials Physics Building
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: houz [at]

Related links

Recent research results

January 27, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
A both/and approach to creating polymers
December 16, 2016: RIKEN RESEARCH
A step toward unlocking the nitrogen reservoir in the sky
June 17, 2016: RIKEN RESEARCH
Harnessing greenhouse gas for batteries
May 13, 2016: RIKEN RESEARCH
Catalysis gets a metal-free upgrade