Supramolecular Organometallic and Main Group Chemistry Laboratory

Research Interests

Welcome to our Research Group. We are a highly motivated team working towards two main research streams. On one side, the development and understanding of the chemistry of confined supramolecular organometallic systems, and on the other side, the study of low-valent main group organometallics systems’ reactivity and their bonding to transition metals. Both research avenues respond to the same call, finding molecular and supramolecular catalytic systems to activate “inert” molecules. In particular, the activation of CO2 is of interest to this research team because of its environmental implications to the chemical and energy industries in developing a sustainable way to transform energy with cero carbon emissions.The control of reactivity, selectivity, and stability at an active catalytic site is often achieved by tuning the catalytic metal first coordination sphere. However, an alternative and powerful way to make a better stereo-control is tailoring the secondary coordination sphere by employing well-defined and discrete host cavities as reaction nanovessels.The encapsulation of organometallic catalytic systems allows access to unique reaction microenvironments that drastically influence the course of catalytic reactions, in a way that the non-encapsulated free catalyst can outcompete. Both the catalyst and host cavity control the catalytic properties of the confined system. This dual-manifold allows fine-tuning for kinetic stabilisation, creating a unique confined chemical space and giving access to better catalyst stability, novel selectivity, and accelerating the reaction rate. Many of these catalyst features remark their relevance to the operation of enzymatic catalysis.


Our motivation is to use our findings in confined and main group chemistry to advance chemical research and catalysis while promoting sustainability.


We thank the EU, the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Government of Andalusia, the University of Huelva and AIQBE (Asociación de Industrias Químicas, Básicas y Energéticas de Huelva) for financial support.


Solid/gas Reactivity of Organometallic Species in Confined Spaces. Videa, Hellen; Martínez-Martínez, Antonio J. Book chapter in Reactivity in Confined Spaces. Edited by Dr. Gareth O. Lloyd and Dr. Ross S. Forgan. Print ISSN: 1368-8642. Series ISSN: 1368-8642. Series DOI: 10.1039/2041-7144. 2021 in press.

From Strathclyde:

Selective mono- and dimetallation of a group 3 sandwich complex. Martínez-Martínez, Antonio J.; Kennedy, A. R.; Paprocki, V.; Fantuzzi, F.; Dewhurst, R. D.; O’Hara, C. T.; Braunschweig, H.; Mulvey, R. E. Chem. Commun. 2019, 55, 9677-9680.

Directed ortho-meta’- and meta-meta’-dimetalations: A template base approach to deprotonation. Martínez-Martínez, A. J.; Kennedy, A. R.; Mulvey, R. E.; O’Hara, C. T. Science 2014, 346, 834-837.

Highlighted in:

Directed Metalation. Not just for ortho. Nature Chem. 2015, 7, 8.
Method aids arenemeta substitution. C&EN News 2014, 92, 35.
Paper of the month: Synfacts 2015, 11, 0183.

Templated deprotonative metalation of polyaryl systems: Facile access to simple, previously inaccessible multi-iodoarenes. Martínez-Martínez, A. J.; Justice, S.; Fleming, B. J. ; Kennedy, A. R.; Oswald, I. ; O’Hara, C. T.* Sci. Adv. 2017, 3, e1700832.

From Oxford:

Reversible Encapsulation of Xenon and CH2Cl2 in a Solid‐State Molecular Organometallic Framework (Guest@SMOM). Martínez-Martínez, Antonio J.; Rees, N.; Weller, A. S. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 16873-16877.

 Solvent-free anhydrous Li+, Na+ and K+ salts of [B(3,5-(CF3)2C6H3)4]−, [BArF4]−. Improved synthesis and solid-state structures. Martínez-Martínez, A. J. and Weller, A. Dalton Trans. 2019, 48, 3551.

Modulation of σ-Alkane Interactions in [Rh(L2)(alkane)]+ Solid-State Molecular Organometallic (SMOM) Systems by Variation of the Chelating Phosphine and Alkane: Access to η22-σ-Alkane Rh(I), η1-σ-Alkane Rh(III) Complexes, and Alkane Encapsulation. Martínez-Martínez, A. J.; Tegner, B.; McKay, A.; Bukvic, A.; Rees, N.; Tizzard, G.; Coles, S.; Warren, M.; Macgregor, S.; Weller, A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 14958–14970.


Mª. Ángeles Fuentes
Postdoctoral Researcher

Degree in Chemistry – Universidad de Huelva (2009)
Master in Chemistry – Universidad de Huelva (2011)
PhD in Chemistry – Universidad de Huelva (2013)
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Strathclyde, UK, Prof Robert E. Mulvey, 2014–2017
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Oxford, UK, Prof Simon Aldridge, 2017–2019
Juan de la Cierva Incorporación Postdoctoral Researcher, Universidad de Huelva, Spain, Prof. Pedro J. Pérez, 2019–2021

Hellen Videa Dubón
PhD student

Degree in Chemistry – Universidad de Barcelona (2018)
Master in Chemistry – University of Barcelona (2019)
Predoctoral Student – University of Huelva (2019-present)

Ignacio Izquierdo Sánchez
PhD student

Degree in Chemistry – Universidad de Salamanca (2018)
Master in Supramolecular Chemistry – University of Salamanca (2019)
Predoctoral Student – University of Huelva (2021-present)

Adrian Carbonell Gil
PhD Student (joint with SIFO Lab)
+34 959 219 487

Diploma in Chemistry – Universidad de Huelva (2019)
Master in Applied Chemistry – University of Huelva (2021)
Predoctoral Student – University of Huelva (2020-present)

Educational Background

BSc Chemistry, Universidad de Murcia, Spain, 2005
Ph.D. Chemistry (European Mention), University of Murcia, Spain, 2012
Ph.D. Advisors: Prof J. Vicente and Prof M. T. Chicote
PhD visiting fellow, University of Glasgow, UK, Prof J. E. McGrady, 2008 and 2009
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Strathclyde, UK, Dr C. O’Hara and Prof R. Mulvey, 2012–2016
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Oxford, UK, Prof Andrew Weller and SCG Chemicals Ltd-Oxford CoE, 2017–2019
Group Leader and Ramón y Cajal Researcher, University of Huelva, Spain, 2019–present


2018 Ramón y Cajal Research Fellowship
2018 GEQO RSEQ Oral Communication Prize, XXXVI GEQO RSEQ Zaragoza
2015 SusChem RSEQ Postdoctoral Prize best publication and scientific profile
2015 RSC Oral Communication PrizeRSC Main Group Annual Meeting London
2015 RSC Dalton Division Award, SILQCOM 2015 Brazil
2012 PhD Prize for the Best Thesis in Chemistry, University of Murcia 2012
2006 FPU PhD Fellowship

Professional and University Appointments

Associated Investigator, NordCO2, Nordic Consortium for CO2 Conversion, since 2020

Membership in Professional Societies

The Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ)
Organometallic Chemistry Group (GEQO) and Young Chemistry Researchers (JIQ)
The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Biographical Sketch

Dr Martínez was born in Murcia, Spain, in 1981. He completed the BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Murcia in 2015, where he also did his PhD supervised by Prof José Vicente and M. T. Chicote in organopalladium chemistry in 2012. During this period, he also worked with Prof John McGrady at the University of Glasgow (UK) studying computational organometallic chemistry. From 2012–2016, he worked with Dr Charles O’Hara and Prof Robert Mulvey at the University of Strathclyde (UK) in template main group supramolecular chemistry, and the synergistic co-operation effects in bimetallic main group systems to influence the regio-selectivity of organic reactions. From 2017–2019, worked at the University of Oxford in solid-gas catalysis using the encapsulation of transition metal catalysts in non-covalent organometallic frameworks towards the valorisation of light hydrocarbons with Prof Andrew Weller, in partnership with SCG Chemicals Ltd, one of the largest integrated petrochemical industries in Asia.

He initiated independent research as a Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the University of Huelva and the Research Center CIQSO in 2019, and currently, he is leading a young and dynamic research group.