Anna Company

Unravelling the mechanisms behind O2 and N2O activation

Contact info:
Dra. Anna Company
Tel. (+34) 972 41 94 06


Selected publications

Teresa Corona, Florian Pfaff, Ferran Acuña-Parés, Apparao Draksharapu, Julio Lloret-Fillol, Wesley R. Browne, Kallol Ray, Anna Company*
Reactivity of a nickel(II) bis(amidate) complex with meta-chloroperbenzoic acid: formation of a potent oxidizing species
Chem. Eur. J. 2015, 21, 15029-15038
DOI: 10.1002/chem.201501841

Joan Serrano-Plana, Isaac Garcia-Bosch, Anna Company,* Miquel Costas*
Exploration of Synergistic Effects in O2 Binding and Activation Paths with Coordination Complexes that Model Structural and Reactivity Aspects of Copper Oxygenases
Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 2397-2406
DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00187

Joan Serrano-Plana, Miquel Costas,* Anna Company*
Building complexity in O2-binding copper complexes. Site-selective metallation and intermolecular O2-binding at dicopper and heterometallic complexes derived from an unsymmetric ligand
Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 12929-12938
DOI: 10.1021/ic501951f

Joan Serrano-Plana, Isaac Garcia-Bosch, Ryosuke Miyake, Miquel Costas,* Anna Company*
Selective ortho-hydroxylation-defluorination of 2-fluorophenolates with bis(?-oxo)dicopper(III) species
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 9608-9612
DOI: 10.1002/ange.201405060

Anna Company,* Gerard Sabeña, María González-Béjar, Laura Gómez, Martin Clémancey, Geneviève Blondin, Andrew J. Jasniewski, Mayank Puri, Wesley R. Browne, Jean-Marc Latour, Lawrence Que Jr., Miquel Costas, Julia Pérez-Prieto,* Julio Lloret-Fillol*
Triggering the generation of an iron(IV)-oxo compound and its reactivity towards sulfides by RuII photocatalysis
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4624-4633
DOI: 10.1021/ja412059c

+ Publications

Dra. Anna Company

Anna Company (Cornellà del Terri, 1982) studied Chemistry at the University of Girona (2000 – 2004) and she carried out her PhD studies in the Department of Chemistry at the same university under the supervision of Dr. Miquel Costas. During her doctoral studies, she performed two research-stays at the University of Minnesota (US) under the supervision of Prof. Que and in the laboratories of Prof. Wieghardt at the Max Planck Institut für Bioanorganische Chemie (Germany).

In April 2009 Anna joined the group of Prof. Driess at the Technische Universität Berlin (Germany) as a postdoctoral researcher within the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship program. In April 2011 she returned to the University of Girona and since January 2012 she is appointed as a “Ramón y Cajal” fellow. In January 2013 she started her independent research line thanks to the funding from a Career Integration Grant from the EU.

Anna currently leads a research team at IQCC working on the activation of small molecules and the characterization of high-valent species relevant in biology and catalysis. She has co-autohred over 35 scientific publications and she was awarded with the 2010 Dalton Young Researchers Award from the RSC and the Clara Immerwahr Award 2015 granted by the german Cluster of Excellence UniCat.

Research overview

Oxidation reactions are one of the most important chemical transformations applied in industry. In the field of bulk chemistry, the use of fossil hydrocarbons usually requires their initial functionalization via oxidation to allow their posterior transformation into value-added oxygen-containing chemicals. In synthetic chemistry, state-of-the-art research is aiming at developing highly selective oxidative transformations which, if successful, would provide tremendous advances to design novel and shorter strategies for the synthesis of complex organic molecules. In biological systems such selective oxidation reactions are performed by metalloenzymes. These enzymes possess metal centers in the active site, which are capable to activate the oxidant (usually molecular oxygen, O2) and generate high-valent metal-oxo species that perform the oxidation. Thus, unraveling the mechanisms operating in biological systems will help to understand the origin of this selectivity, a knowledge that could be transferred to the design of synthetic catalysts with improved selectivity towards oxidation.

A closer look to reactive metal-oxygen molecules

In this project we aim at the use of O2 or its activated forms as oxidants in organic reactions under mild reaction conditions with first-row transition metal complexes as catalysts. We are interested not only in finding efficient catalytic systems but also in understanding the mechanisms behind these transformations. For this reason, we pay special attention to the detection and characterization of the active species by means of several spectroscopic techniques including UV-vis, CSI-MS, NMR,… Following this methodology, we have been able to detect highly oxidizing iron-oxygen and nickel-oxygen species.


Activation of N2O

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a minor component of the earth atmosphere but it has been identified as a major environmental concern because it is ~300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 and it is involved in the depletion of stratospheric ozone. Thus, there is an increasing interest in the use of N2O as oxidant as it only generates unproblematic N2 as waste. However, N2O is a recalcitrant molecule because, despite being thermodynamically a potent oxidant, it is kinetically very stable. Taking inspiration from metalloenzymes (nitrous oxide reductase), reaction with transition metals (TM) has been identified as a good strategy to overcome these kinetic barriers, albeit progress in this field has been rather limited. In this project we aim to achieve the activation of nitrous oxide with first-row TM complexes bearing electron-rich metal centers willing to reductively activate N2O. Understanding the mechanisms of N2O activation and finding new applications for the use of N2O as oxidant are the main aims of the present project.



Principal Investigator

Anna Company


Staff and Posdocs

PhD and MACMoM students

Oriol Planas

PhD student (FPU)

- A. Company
- X. Ribas

Valeria Dantignana

PhD student (MSCA ITN)

- A. Company
- M. Costas

Carla Magallón

MACMoM student

- A. Company

Carlos García

MACMoM student

- A. Company


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (CIG)

Project: Key insights into oxidation chemistry through synthetic systems: N2O activation with first-row transitionmetals and O2 activation in heterobimetallic Fe-Ni systems (NewOxMet)
Researcher: Dr. Anna Company
Reference: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-CIG-303522
Funding: 100.000 €
Periode: 2013 – 2017

MINECO Projects. Proyectos I+D

Project: Model platforms for the mechanistic understanding of C-H and C-X functionalizations (MODMECH)
Researcher: Dr Xavi Ribas & Dr Anna Company
Reference: CTQ2016-77989-P
Funding: 135.000 €
Periode: 2017 – 2019


First Science Slam IQCC within Science Week

The Institute of Computational Chemistry and Catalysis of the University of Girona organizes the 1st Science

Anna Company wins Lilly prize for young investigator

Today the Real Sociedad Española de Química announced that Dr. Anna Company received

Terminal Copper–Nitrene Species in Angewandte Chemie

High-valent terminal copper–nitrene species have been postulated as key intermediates in copper-catalyzed aziridination

Second edition of Science Slam IQCC, November 24, 12.00h

In 2015, the IQCC organized for the first time the Science Slam, which