Assistant Professor Rowan Drury YOUNG

B.Sc., University of New South Wales; Ph.D., Australian National University; Postdoctoral, Oxford University; Postdoctoral, the University of Edinburgh.

Contact Information 

Office: MD1-17-03G
Tel: (65)-6516-2845 | Fax: (65)-6779-1691
Email: | Personal webpage


ResearcherID: C-4926-2014


Recognition and Achievements

  • Joint chair Singapore Inorganic Chemistry Symposium, NUS-NTU, 2015-2018
  • Notable Hire, Department of Chemistry, NUS, 2014
  • ICOMC Travel Award, University of Oxford, 2012
  • Director’s Prize, Research School of Chemistry, ANU, 2012


Research Interests

My group’s chemistry is focused on developing and understanding catalytic chemical transformations. The ability to streamline the efficiency of current and future industrial catalytic processes is a key element in societies’ reduction of energy usage for a greener future. This research field encompasses more traditional redox active metal based catalysis to recently developed Frustrated Lewis Pair (FLP) catalysis. In particular I am interested in accessing alternate reaction pathways and reaction products through the use of Z-type ligands (electron pair acceptors) and carbocation Lewis acids.


Research Highlight

1. C-F bond functionalisation

The incorporation of C-F bonds into organic molecules is driven by the many desirable characteristics that fluorocarbons possess. Given their ever-increasing abundance in chemical industries, one area of focus in the research group is in the catalytic transformation of inert C-F bonds to other synthetically useful groups, via the use of main group Lewis acidic catalysts.


2. PCP alkylidene pincer complexes

PCP pincer complexes featuring alkylidene central donors have shown huge potential in synergistic metal-liagnd bond-activation chemistry. Unfortunately, these ligands are often difficult to access, especially for base metal examples. Our group has found new ways to access such complexes and is currently exploring their potential in challenging bond-activation processes and metal-ligand cooperative catalysis


Teaching Contributions

  • CM1111 Inorganic Chemistry 1
  • CM2111 Inorganic Chemistry 2
  • CM5211 Contemporary Organometallic Chemistry


Representative Publications 

  • Mandal, D.; Gupta, R.; Young, R. D. Selective Monodefluorination and Wittig Functionalization of gem-Difluoromethyl Groups to Generate Monofluoroalkenes. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 10682–10686.
  • Sung, S.; Wang, Q. Y.; Kraemer, T.; Young, R. D. Synthesis and reactivity of a PCcarbeneP cobalt(I) complex: The missing link in the cobalt PXP pincer series (X = B, C, N). Chem. Sci. 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8SC02782J
  • Sung, S.; Young, R. D. Facile generation of iridium PCcarbeneP pincer complexes via water elimination from an alcohol proligand. Dalton Trans., 2017, 46, 15407–15414.
  • Sung, S.; Joachim, T.; Krämer, T.; Young, R. D. Protonolysis of an α-Hydroxyl Ligand for the Generation of a PCcarbeneP Pincer Complex and Subsequent Reactivity Studies. Organometallics, 2017, 36, 3117–3124.
  • Sung, S.; Boon, J. K.; Lee, J. J. C.; Rajabi, N. A.; Macgregor, S. A.; Krämer, T.; Young, R. D. Convergent (De)Hydrogenative Pathways via a Rhodium α-Hydroxylalkyl Complex. Organometallics, 2017, 36, 1609–1617.