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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science Advanced Catalysis Research Group

Group Director: Zhaomin Hou (D.Eng.)

Research Summary

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 Fields

  • Chemistry

Related Research Fields

  • Environmental Science
  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering
  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy
  • Organic chemistry
  • Synthetic chemistry
  • Polymer chemistry


  • Olefin Polymerization
  • C-H Bond Functionalization
  • Dinitrogen Activation
  • Transformation of Carbon Dioxide to Useful Chemicals
  • Asymmetric Catalysis

Selected Publications

  • 1. Lou, S., Zhuo, Q., Nishiura, M., Luo, G., and Hou, Z.:
    "Enantioselective C–H Alkenylation of Ferrocenes with Alkynes by Half-Sandwich Scandium Catalyst"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 143, 2470-2476 (2021).
  • 2. Shima, T., Yang, J., Luo, G., Luo, Y., and Hou, Z.:
    "Dinitrogen Activation and Hydrogenation by C5Me4SiMe3-Ligated Di- and Trinuclear Chromium Hydride Complexes"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142, 9007-9016 (2020).
  • 3. Wang, H., Wu, X., Yang, Y., Nishiura, M., Hou, Z.:
    "Co-syndiospecific Alternating Copolymerization of Functionalized Propylenes and Styrene by Rare-Earth Catalysts"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59, 7173-7177 (2020).
  • 4. Cong, X., Zhan, G., Mo, Z., Nishiura, M., and Hou, Z.:
    "Diastereodivergent [3+2] Annulation of Aromatic Aldimines with Alkenes via C-H Activation by Half-Sandwich Rare-Earth Catalysts"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142, 5531-5537 (2020).
  • 5. Li, Z., Zhang, L., Nishiura, M., Luo, G., Luo, Y., Hou, Z.:
    "CO2 Activation by Lewis Pairs Generated Under Copper Catalysis Enables Difunctionalization of Imines"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142, 1966-1974 (2020).
  • 6. Lou, S., Mo, Z., Nishiura, M., Hou, Z.:
    "Construction of All-Carbon Quaternary Stereocenters by Scandium-Catalyzed Intramolecular C-H Alkylation of Imidazoles with 1,1-Disubstituted Alkenes"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142, 1200-1205 (2020).
  • 7. Wang, H., Yang, Y., Nishiura, M., Higaki, Y., Takahara, A., Hou, Z.:
    "Synthesis of Self-Healing Polymers by Scandium-Catalyzed Copolymerization of Ethylene and Anisylpropylenes"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 3249-3257 (2019).
  • 8. Nishiura, M., Guo, F., and Hou, Z.:
    "Half-Sandwich Rare-Earth-Catalyzed Olefin Polymerization, Carbometalation, and Hydroarylation"
    Acc. Chem. Res. 48, 2209-2220 (2015).
  • 9. 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).
  • 10. 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).

Recent Research Results

Related Links

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
Senior Research Scientist
Harekrishna Sahoo
Postdoctoral Researcher
Huang Lin
Postdoctoral Researcher
Xiaobin Lin
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aniket Mishra
Postdoctoral Researcher
Zhou Sun
RIKEN Student Researcher D
Haoran Zhang
International Program Associate
Mingjun Chi
International Program Associate
Jingjing Shao
International Program Associate
Guanchen He
International Program Associate
Tetsuro Murahashi
Senior Visiting Scientist
Yi Luo
Visiting Scientist
Yuka Cowart


Position Deadline
Seeking Postdoctoral Researchers (W24045) Open until filled

Contact Information

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

Email: houz [at] riken.jp