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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.Wang, C., Luo, G., Nishiura, M., Song, G., Yamamoto, A., Luo, Y., and Hou, Z.:
    "Heteroatom-assisted Olefin Polymerization by Rare-Earth Metal Catalysts"
    Sci. Adv. 3, e1701011 (2017).
  • 2.Wang, B., Luo, G., Nishiura, M., Hu, S., Shima, T., Luo, Y., and Hou, Z.:
    "Dinitrogen Activation by Dihydrogen and a PNP-Ligated Titanium Complex"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 1818-1821 (2017).
  • 3.Teng, H., Luo, Y., Wang, B., Zhang, L., Nishiura, M., and Hou, Z.:
    "Synthesis of Chiral Aminocyclopropanes by Rare-Earth-Metal-Catalyzed Cyclopropene Hydroamination"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 15406-15410 (2016).
  • 4.Carry, B., Zhang, L., Nishiura, M., and Hou, Z.:
    "Synthesis of Lithium Boracarbonate Ion Pairs by Copper-Catalyzed Multi-Component Coupling of Carbon Dioxide, Diboron, and Aldehydes"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 6257-6260 (2016).
  • 5.Guru, M. M., Shima, T., and Hou, Z.:
    "Conversion of Dinitrogen to Nitriles at a Multinuclear Titanium Framework"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 12316-12320 (2016).
  • 6.Shi, X., Nishiura, M., and Hou, Z.:
    "C−H Polyaddition of Dimethoxyarenes to Unconjugated Dienes by Rare Earth Catalysts"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 6147-6150 (2016).
  • 7.Nishiura, M., Guo, F., and Hou, Z.:
    "Half-Sandwich Rare-Earth-Catalyzed Olefin Polymerization, Carbometalation, and Hydroarylation"
    Acc. Chem. Res. 48, 2209-2220 (2015).
  • 8.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).
  • 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
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
Yang Yang
Postdoctoral Researcher
Hisashi Soga
Technical Staff II

Contact Information

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

Email: houz [at] riken.jp