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Group Social
Forget turkey.. to celebrate Christmas, the bears go for a Kurdish Christmas dinner(!).


A great deal happened in 2022:

+6 publications, +4 covers!

Thanks to the end of the pandemic the bears were finally able to travel and present their research & engage in exchanges internationally: Mark & Jas went to London, Joshua to Delhi, Michal & Joshua to Strasbourg, Simon went to Singapore.

The bears also spread their research at conferences around Germany: Shangze, Xianhai and Shahboz went to Münster (ORCHEM), Daria and Joshua went to Bayreuth, Jas, Shahboz and Joshua went to Halle.

Two bears moved on to their next positions: Mark began his PhD at the University of Bristol, Shangze began his next postdoc at the University of Leipzig; while two new bears joined the clan (Mattia, Daria)!

Big things to come for the bear clan in 2023... with an ERC Starting Grant as one of them!  \(^(I)^)/


Conference (Christmas Symposium)

Shahboz represents the group at the annual Christmas symposium - Santa (S)Fluor is coming to town!


Great job Shahboz, on your first presentation 'in person' in front of a large audience. You make the bear clan proud!


After 2 years of virtual graduations, Ahmed graduates finally from the SynCat MSc program at an 'in presence' ceremony!


Congratulations from all the group!


Visiting Professor
Joshua hosted Prof. Andrei Yudin for his visit to Regensburg, culminating in an excellent talk on the concept of synthetic half-reactions and the importance of enthalpy.


Lunch at the University's Italian, Das Unikat, with Prof. Gschwind:


Traditional Bavarian Dinner at the Weltenburger Am Dom with Profs. König and Reiser:


Thanks for visiting us & enjoy the rest of your Humboldt Award stay in Germany!


International Exchange
Michal & Joshua went to Strasbourg for a challenging culmination of our BayFrance teaching exchange...
They worked hard to prepare practical course on flow photochemistry and software-hardware interaction. The students had to build the reactor, build a Arduino chipset, program the peristaltic pump, set up and flow the wet chemical reaction: all in 2 h!


Joshua gave teaching lectures on flow chemistry to MSc and BSc classes, and a research lecture on AK Barham's research. He got to meet and interact with renowned chemists at Strasbourg's ISIS institute, such as Profs. (Nobel Laureate) Jean-Marie Lehn, Amir Hoveyda, Joseph Moran, Giulio Ragazzon & Pawel Dydio.

He also got to meet Prof. Joanna Wencel-Delord over lunch!

Thanks to Prof. Gilles Marcou for co-ordinating this fantastic opportunity, and thanks to BayFrance for funding our collaboration!Gilles2


New Cover
Shahboz's paper on benzoates as photosensitizing auxiliaries for remote C(sp3)-H fluorination was selected for the outside back cover of Chem. Sci.


Congratulations! \(^(I)^)/


New paper
In Chem. Sci.

Shahboz & team show how benzoyl groups serve as photosensitizing catalysts and auxiliaries for the remote C(sp3)-H fluorination of complex molecules.

SF Aux paper

The Gschwind group (Willi Stockerl) made a big contribution in pinning down the role of the 4-fluoro atom of the auxiliary - this allows the benzoyl to de-aggregate SelectFluor and shortens the induction period!

The auxiliary method allows fluorination in higher efficiency, tolerates free amines and alcohols and even permits reactions on gram scale, in air! Showing generality of the concept, the benzoyl auxiliary also works in [2+2]-photocycloadditions, allowing them to proceed in air.

Congrats to the team!



A Bear in India?
After the meeting Joshua also got to visit few of the famous sights in Delhi & Agra with other young PIs in Germany: Drs. Tobias Gensch, Golo Storch, Max Hansmann & Cathleen Zeymer! There's no better place for close networking than in the back of a TukTuk..



International Exchange
Joshua was invited to participate in the DFG-SERB Indo-German Week of the Young Researcher in New Delhi. This was an event to bring together early- to mid- career researchers in chemistry together to forge new collaborative alliances and build long-term research partnerships.


An scientifically as well as culturally enriching & insightful conference, thank you very much to the organizers, Prof. Peter Schreiner, Prof. Burkhard König and Dr. Vaibhav Agarwal (DFG India Office) for putting together this excellent event!



International Exchange
Bears in the UK..? Mark and Jas attend the ChemSci Symposium at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London, where they enjoyed talks from an excellent lineup of speakers such as Profs.: (Nobel Laureate) David MacMillan, Matt Gaunt, Alison Narayan, Nick Turner, Shannon Stahl, Tim Noel, Takashi Ooi, Deb Maiti, Daniele Leonori & Yang Li.


They presented their work at the poster session!


Mark got to meet one of his idols in flow photochemistry ;-)



Group Social

The group & its new members got together for a hike! We went to Kelheim and hiked to Kloser Weltenburg to enjoy the autumn colours.


Team Lab 20: Wolfgang, Daria, Simon


Team Lab 21: Xianhai, Mattia, Shahboz


Team Lab 05: Jonathan, Ahmed, Jaspreet


We were joined by some honorary bears: Ajdin (AK Meyer, Inorganic Chemistry at Göttingen & former Lindau 2022 buddy) & Florence (AK König, seen regularly hanging out in our labs ;-)


The top-shot!


We took the boat back from Weltenburg through the limestone cliffs that date back to the Jurassic period. Upon close inspection of the Figure below, it can be concluded that fun was had by all! ^_^




The SPP2370 team is assembled! Great to finally meet Drs. Guisto and Savateev (Max Planck Potsdam) in person, after so many ZOOM meetings.
Was of course even greater to meet the new PhDs, Daria (UR side) and Gabrial (Max Planck side), who together are going to take on N2 fixation to high-value organic molecules with the power of electro(photo)catalysis!


As well as integrating our own team, we found valuable interactions with other sub-projects within the SPP.

Many thanks to Prof. Roland Marschall for organizing such an enjoyable and open Kickoff meeting for the SPP2370 "Nitroconversion"!


International Exchange
Michal goes to Strasbourg, for our BayFrance teaching exchange! There he teaches a class of undergraduated organic synthesis and learns how to program Arduino chipsets to start setting up programmable peristaltic pumps..



A new PhD student joins the group!
Mattia Lepori joins the group for his PhD!

Mattia did his Masters in Chemistry at the University of Pisa, under the supervision of Prof. Alessandro Mandoli, where he specialized in the synthesis of  substituted cyclic compounds and handling of organometallic reagents (Grignards, Gilmans, organozincs and organoindiums). He acquired experience using microflow continuous flow reactors (Uniqsis)

Mattia joins our group to pursue homogeneous electro(photo)chemical reactions, targeting thermodynamically uphill transformations. He is funded by the Faculty's recently-awarded Bavarian International Doctoral Kollege (IDK) "Photo-electro-catalysis", where he joins a consortium of 10 other PhD students. Mattia will have an industrial mentor at GSK, and an exchange is planned to the U.K. to work in the labs of Dr. Daniel Scott.

Mattia's dedication for chemistry and his expertise in continuous flow chemistry will be a strong asset to our group and to the IDK!

Best of luck for your PhD!


A new PhD student joins the group!
Daria Corsi joins the group for her PhD!

Daria did her Masters in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Milan, under the supervision of Profs. Marco Pallavicini and Cristiano Bolchi, where she specialized in the synthesis of photoactivatable compounds to control α4β2 nAChR activity. She spent several months as a trainee in Data Availability at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Now, Daria takes on a new challenge. Funded by our recently-awarded SPP2370 "Nitroconversion" project, she will explore heterogeneous catalytic for N2 fixation into high-value organic molecules, driven by electro(photo)catalysis. Daria will spend several months at the Max Planck in Potsdam learning heterogeneous catalyst synthesis and surface characterization techniques, under the co-supervision Drs. Oleksander Savateev & Paolo Giusto!

We warmly welcome Daria's enthusiasm & her experience in data handling will surely strengthen our groups d2d operations!

Best of luck for your PhD!


Shangze presents his work at the ORCHEM 2022 conference in Münster! With Profs. Lutz Ackermann and Daniel Werz seen in the audience. Well done!


Shahboz and Xianhai also presented posters at the meeting.


New Paper


Michal harnesses the power of auto-frequency tunable microwave flow technology to synthesize imidazolium-type ionic liquids (20 examples) on up to a whopping 600 g h-1 scale(!) and record space-time (62.5 kg h-1 L-1) yields.


Jonas helped synthesize a couple of starting materials.

Congrats to the team!



Ph.D position available

Our DFG proposal to SPP2370 "Nitroconversion" was funded!
Congratulations to JPB and his collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Dr. Aleksandr Savateev (co-P.I.) and Dr. Paolo Giusto (collaborating researcher).
Image taken from: spp2370.uni-bayreuth.de/en/

Together, we will develop heterogeneous catalytic photo/electrochemical fixation of dinitrogen (N2) into organic compounds. The project includes 2 PhD positions, one hosted at UR within AK Barham, and one hosted at the MPI. The UR PhD will specialize in organic chemistry: flow chemistry, applying heterogeneous photo/electrocatalysis to organic synthetic transformations. The MPI PhD will specialize in materials chemistry: heterogeneous catalyst design and synthesis, as well as post-reaction characterization of catalysts.

Check out the EURAXESS advert or 'Positions' for further details how to apply!

Opening: 15.06.2022, Deadline: 15.07.2022



Ph.D position available

The International Doctoral College "Photo-Electro-Catalysis" in which JPB is one of 11 P.I.s, starts advertising its 11 PhD positions.

In the specific project of our PhD position, we will develop homogeneous catalytic photo/electrochemical fixation of dinitrogen (N2) into organic compounds. The PhD will specialize in organic chemistry: applying homogeneous photo/electrocatalysis to organic synthetic transformations. The PhD will spend 6 months at the University of Oxford, with an academic international collaborator Dr. Daniel J. Scott. The PhD will benefit from connections to industrial partners of the IDK, and have an industrial PhD supervisor.

Check out the EURAXESS advert, or 'Positions' for further details how to apply!
Opening: 15.06.2022, Deadline: 15.07.2022



Group Social

We climbed the Großer Arber (1470 m) on the CZ/DE border. For some group members (guess who?), it was their first ever forest/mountain hike! Popped across the border for a well-deserved cake stop afterwards.



Visiting Professor

Our Franco-Bavarian 'BayFrance' teaching exchange kicked off with a seminar of Gilles Marcou on Cheminformatics at Regensburg, teaching students how to build & interpret models grouping flavor molecules by their principal components!


..All this talk of flavors made us hungry, so the students joined for dinner afterwards, which was great!



New paper
In ChemSusChem.
Xianhai's team shows how α-amino radicals can be leveraged in XAT for net-reductive couplings of organohalides.


Heck, Suzuki, Sonogashira C-C couplings all possible - without pre-functionalization with boronics! Jaspreet showed amenability to continuous flow, Shahboz contributed to substrate synthesis.

Congrats to the team!



Student Success - Research Assistant
Ahmed joins the group as a Research Assistant!

Ahmed completed his Master Thesis within the group as part of the EliteNetzwerk Bayern SynCat Programme. Beyond the typical training of a Master student, he picked up a number of advanced synthetic, analytical and theoretical techniques, including time-correlated single photon counting, DFT, flow chemistry and cyclic voltammetry. He made valuable contributions to a number of published projects (e.g. Chem. Sci. 2022, 13, 1912; Org. Lett. 2021, 6, 2002) and continues to forge ahead with his own led project. He wrote a detailed Thesis capturing all his efforts and on top of all this, he became a father!
Ahmed is unafraid to learn new techniques and is very active in approaching other scientists both within and outside the University, qualities that will see him go far in his future career.

We wish Ahmed all the best success for the foreseeable future as a research assistant, looking forward to what discoveries he will make.


Student Success - Award
With his presentation "Oh My Gas, that is ChemisTREE! chemical synthesis and modification using gas, light and flow",
Mark wins the first prize at "FameLab" Regensburg! WOW!

Mark captivated the non-specialist audience with his enthusiasm for science and a hippo bubble generating toy :-)
He goes on to compete at the national finals of FameLab in Bielefeld. We're so proud of you Mark! \(*(I)*)/

Check out his talk --> here



JPB gives a talk at the Chemiedozententagung, Germany's highly-esteemed meeting for aspiring P.I.s / junior group leaders to present their/their group's research.
The talk was well-received with insightful discussions. The toughest question was posed by Prof. König who came all the way from Regensburg to ask it ;-)



Student Success
Mark graduated from the SynCat Master Programme, no doubt with a top grade (1.0) for his Master Thesis.

Michal is a very bright and curious young researcher. Mark impressed with the number of skills he acquired during his short time with us - including photocatalysis, flow chemistry, gas-liquid reactions and computational chemistry (DFT). Despite many hardships and hurdles - owing to his independence, his determination and his hard work - he was able to lead an academic/industry collaborative research project to the finish line in leading journal Chem. Sci.
Mark co-wrote a granular review (with Michal) on C-Alkylation of alkali metal carbanions in Org. Biomol. Chem.
Mark is an active scientific communicator, both to scientific and layman audiences. He presented at two virtual conferences (SEQT Young Research Symposium 2021, EYCheM2022), winning a 'best talk' award at the latter. He presented his gas-liquid photochemistry research to laymen audiences in an entertaining way, and progressed to the German national 'FameLAB' finals!
Without doubt, Mark will go on to become a future leader/communicator in science.

We wish Mark all the best in his future career!


Student award!
WOW! Mark wins a 'best talk' award at EyCHeM2022 !!! Among 4 other excellent young-career researchers.

for his talk entitled: "Organophotocatalytic Late-stage N-CH3 Oxidation of Trialkylamines with O2 in Continuous Flow"

Super-well done Mark! So proud.



JPB *also* wins a award at EyCHeM2022, the EYCN Special Sponsor award, among other excellent researchers.

for his talk entitled: "Electrifying Photocatalysis: A New Frontier in Light-Powered Organic Synthesis"

Congratulations to our fearless leader! What a great day of recognitions for our research group!

We thank EYCheM2022 organizers for organizing such an insightful conference, and for their hard work after multiple cancellations/rearrangements of this meeting.


Visiting Professor (Nobel Prizewinner)
The faculty at Regensburg had the great pleasure of hosting Prof. Ben List for his first 'in-presence' lecture after winning the 2021 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. JPB gets to meet and go for dinner with one of his heroes!



New paper/cover
Mark's flow organophotocatalytic N-CH3 late stage oxidation with moleculer O2 is published in Chem. Sci.

..and was selected for the outside back cover!


The backstory...
The project, initiated by JPB during in the later years of his own Ph.D in GSK, began with the synthesis and discovery of 'DCAS' which was found to substantially outperform insoluble (brick dust) 'DCA', thanks to its enhanced solubility. But the project was parked at that time - the process safety department didn't like students handling O2 cylinders and we couldn't get enough O2 into the reaction despite efforts to boost the conversion beyond 50%. We did however know conform our reaction was starved of O2, thanks to on-line monitoring of the reaction with Vapourtec's unique transmission spectrometer

Thanks to the excellent gas/liquid mixing of the unique microfluidic path of Corning Lab Photo Reactor, with an O2 cylinder plumbed in, our Mark was able to revive the project when we started up at Regensburg and his commendable efforts drove it to completion.

Jonas supported with an improved, chromatography-free gram-scale DCAS catalyst synthesis. Ahmed supported with spectroscopic studies on radical anions. Ludwig supported with substrate syntheses.

This was a highly collaborative effort: we thank our former collaborators Lee Edwards and Dr. Callum MacGregor at GSK for preliminary flow studies, we thank Prof. David Birch and Dr. Philip Yip for spectroscopic characterization of the novel catalyst vs. DCA, and we thank AK Heilmann for having our back with prep-HPLC purifications of functionalized polar drug molecules. Last but not least we thank Dr. Matthew P. John who is sadly no longer with us. An infectiously positive character, inspiring mentor and friend of JPB; ..he would've loved to see this manuscript online.

Here's a picture of Matt with (a much skinnier) JPB:


The Bears feast for Xmas


Forget turkey.. to celebrate a semi-return to normality(..) the bears go for a Japanese(!) Christmas dinner. Its been a tough year in many respects, but one nonetheless for JPB to be grateful for, for being part of such a motivated group of young scientists.


Invited talk

JPB shares the group's research with Nanyang Technological University's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, followed by enjoyable discussions with Profs Shunsuke Chiba and Han Sen Soo. Thank you the very kind invitation to present!



Student Success - New PhD student
We're thrilled that Michal is joining us for a PhD, after graduating from the SynCat programme and being awarded the top grade (1.0) for his Master Thesis.
Michal is as highly gifted technically as he is scientifically, he progressed three different flow chemistry projects during his Master Thesis. He found ways to overcome challenges like viscosity, product overheating/decomposition and gas evolution.
He co-wrote a granular review (with Mark) on C-Alkylation of alkali metal carbanions in Org. Biomol. Chem. and he contributed to triarylamine catalyst synthesis in our e-PRC paper in Org. Chem. Front.

We are eager to see what he will achieve over the next 3 years!


New paper
Jaspreet publishes a review on how hydrogen atom transfer methods can be controlled for the selective C(sp3)-H functionalizations of amines and amides, in Synthesis.


We thank Profs. Knochel and Oestreich - idols of JPB in the fields of flow, organometallic and Silicon chemistry - for the kind invitation!

Congratulations Jaspreet!



Bears on conference
Shahboz and Jas present their work at their first 'in-presence' conference since the pandemic began! The 'Light Creates Structure' meeting at the Leopoldina Academy in Halle. Many thanks to Profs Burkhard König and Thorsten Bach for organizing such an enjoyable event!




New Paper (Preprint)
Mark's gas-liquid photoflow paper drops on ChemRxiv! We hope it finds a good home.. 


It describes an attractive method for the late-stage, selective N-CH3 oxidation of complex trialkylamines - including natural products and active pharmaceutical ingredients - using simple molecular oxygen and light! The microfluidic chip reactor safely handled O2-enriched reaction mixture, improving mass transfer, conversion and selectivity.

Find out why our new catalyst, 'DCAS', is not only more soluble than its parent DCA, but totally inverts the reaction mechanism from electron transfer to energy transfer...



JPB is honoured to be an associated member of a newly-DFG funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC325), "Assembly Controlled Chemical Photocatalysis"


Over the next 4 years, this group of P.I.s from TUMunich, Regensburg, LMU(Munich) and Leipzig will investigate the role of assemblies in photochemical/catalytic reactions before, during of after light excitation.
The CRC meets for the first 'in-presence' time, for a retreat.


New paper
Our group publishes a comprehensive review of the explosion of interest in synthetic molecular photoelectrochemistry within the last 2 years, in Angew. Chem.

Includes fresh reactivity, new mechanistic insights and scalability prospects! We cover 'radical ion' and 'recycling' e-PRC, as well as the emerging sub-field of photoelectrochemical HAT reactions. Future perspectives on reactivity, reactor platforms and industrial applicability are discussed. We're excited by the many examples of late-stage functionalization and multigrams per hour in continuous flow!

The detailed compilation of radical ion photocatalyst structures and physical properties in one place should be very helpful to newcomers and experts alike in the fields of both e-PRC AND conPET, to plan reactions. These compilations have greatly supported developments in parent technology photoredox catalysis.


Finally, key questions around the mechanisms of 'radical ion' photocatalytic reactions are discussed. Although we follow the religion of preassembly, other possibilities like solvated electrons, quartet states and closed shell decomposed photocatalysts should also be kept in mind.

So, sincere congratulations to Shangze, Jaspreet, Tobias (borrowed from AK König) and Xianhai for their hard work putting this all together! 




The Bears take a group dinner
After over a year of restrictions and lockdowns, AK Barham finally gets to enjoy another group dinner! Yummy Indian food at Ganesha Regensburg (highly recommend).


The Bär-clan has grown rapidly!

It's been an honour for Joshua to work among such a talented, fun and hard-working team.




New paper
A catalyst-free, photochemical flow cyclopropanation makes its debut in Green Chem.!

The reaction is scalable, safe and sustainable - proceeding in biodegradable dimethylcarbonate solvent - to afford up to grams per hour of densely-functionalized cyclopropanes as valuable intermediates in natural product and pharmaceutical synthesis. It exemplified nicely the power of Design of Experiments to get us to the reaction condition 'sweet spot', in just two afternoons of research.


Viktor did a terrific job with this and it was a true pleasure to supervise him on this project.

We thank AK Reiser for the fruitful collaboration!




Invited talk
JPB's 'Science Talk' at the Alexander von Humboldt's annual meeting on AK Barham's research was well-received! It is rare indeed that the questions last longer than the presentation ^_^

The talk is designed to be as entertaining & accessible as possible to non-experts in the field - a challenging task to explain concepts of photoelectrochemistry and preassembly, as well as our research projects all in


Check out the talk here on our YouTube channel


New paper
Xianhai's paper on e-PRC reductive cleavage of alcohols to carbanions is published in Angew. Chem. Check it out! (open access)
Really intriguing reactivity and mechanism - thanks to preassembly via our new radical anion catalyst, we can tolerate aryl halides under super-reductive conditions, instead cleaving C(sp3)-O bonds in olefination/deoxygenation reactions. SET takes place in an anti-Kasha photochemical fashion, harnessing the full visible photon energy. An emitting state (quartet ?), which is SET inactive, can photoisomerize olefin products to Z-isomers.


Huge congratulations to all involved!

Tobias from AK König did the spectroscopic studies, Sebastian from AK de Vivie-Riedle (LMU) did the computational studies, and our Shahboz contributed to the substrate scope.


Invited talk
Joshua's invited talk at the 239th ElectroChemicalSociaty (ECS) meeting presented Shangze&team's research on triarylamines as electroactivated PhotoRedox Catalysts for superoxidations.


It was a pleasure to present at the session alongside Profs. Siegfried Waldvogel, Alistair Lennox and Robert Francke - all pioneering characters in electroorganic synthesis!


A collaborative paper highlighted
Pleased to see that our collaborative paper with the König group and MPI Potsdam was highlighted in Synfacts

Congratulations to all involved!


Invited Talk
Joshua thoroughly enjoyed presenting the group's research on "Preassembly-controlled Photoredox Catalysis and Electrophotocatalysis" at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces at Potsdam hosted by their newest member (and now Liebig Fellowship holder!) Dr. John Molloy

Joshua got to meet, and enjoy discussions with rising stars in photo- and flow chemistry that he admires: Dr. Bart Pieber and Dr. Dario Cambie  slide1





Invited Talk
Joshua shares some of the group's research at a webinar hosted by scientific instrument (flow reactor) manufacturer H.E.L. Group, alongside former colleague Lee Edwards (GSK), Prof. Russell Taylor and his Ph.D student Samuel Raynes (University Durham) on the topic of hetereogeneous catalysis. Check it out



New cover
Our cover image for Shangze's Org. Chem. Front. was selected as one of the outside covers for Issue 6!

Electron deficient arenes queue up to ride the precomplexation merry-go-round, powered by photoelectrochemistry. *Caution* extreme redox potentials, ultrashort lifetimes, breaks Kasha's rule (the organic photochemist interpretation of). 

Not suitable for all riders (1,4-dichlorobenzene, iodobenzene!).

Artist credit to our graphic designer Sarah S. Coutts!)

Check it out: 



New cover
Our cover image for Jaspreet's recent Org. Lett. was selected as one of the covers for Issue 6! 

The photochemical SET reaction between electron-rich arenes and persulfate in a solvent cage is illustrated by a cage fight. Cleavage of persulface affords SO4, which reaches for a H atom. TEMPO's inability to inhibit the reaction is illustrated by spectators cheering from outside the cage.

Artist credit to our graphic designer Sarah S. Coutts!

Check it out:OLTOC


New paper
After a long peer-review, AK Bärham emerge victorious with the publication of their independent study on triarylamines as tunable, precomplexing, super-oxidizing, Kasha rule-breaking electroactivated PhotoCatalysts! Check it out in 
Org. Chem. Front. (open access!)

We think that photocatalyst-substrate precomplexation marks the next evolutionary stage in PhotoRedox Catalysis - overturning conventional selectivities and breaking established rules in photochemistry.

Concepts in this manuscript are highly contraversial. *Proceed with caution* You have been warned ;-)




Joshua is honored and humbled to be among the Daimler und Benz Stiftung's Stipendiaten 2021. The scholarship provides funding of 40,000 EUR to support AK Barham's future endeavors in synthetic photoelectrochemistry over the following 2 years!


die ersten Deutsche bären!
We welcome SynCat students Wolfgang, Jonathan and Ludwig for research practicums - good luck in your endeavors in synthesis, photoelectrochemistry and flow chemistry!


Student Success - New PhD student
We welcome Shahboz, who graduated his Master Thesis of the SynCat programme with flying colours (Thesis grade 1.0), back to AK Bärham as a Ph.D student!
Shahboz came to us in January 2019 with little practical or theoretical experience in organic chemistry. Amazing to see how much he has grown and what he has achieved in just 1 year: 1) He wrote a stellar review on photosensitized C(sp3)-H fluorinations published in Beilstein J. Org. Chem 2) He discovered a new class of photosensitizer during his Thesis, applied it to a broad substrate scope and is close to publication 3) He contributed to a study in AK König which was published in ACS Catalysis 4) He contributed ~30 substrates to a synthetic study under Dr. Xianhai Tian approaching publication


5) He became a father!!! ^_^

Terrific job Shahboz, we are so proud and we look forward to your exciting future research!



New paper
Delighted that Jaspreet's Master Thesis work got published in Org. Lett.  Check it out (open access!). Amide C-H arylation with electron-rich arenes can be achieved without the photocatalyst! Mechanistic studies imply an electron-donor-acceptor complex and further reactions taking place in confined space within a "solvent-cage". We are *excited* and curious for the opportunities that preassembly in photocatalysis may offer! SynCat Master student Ahmed Shahin contributed important control reactions and cyclic voltammetry experiments.

Well done to Jaspreet and Ahmed!




Joshua is thrilled to be recognized among the Thieme Chemistry Journal Awardees 2021, alongside other rising stars in organic chemistry and catalysis!

Joshua was even more thrilled to hear this news from one of his idols in organometallic and flow 'flash' chemistry, Prof. Paul Knochel :-)


New paper
A collaborative study on heterogeneous graphitic carbon nitride/dual Ni photocatalysis between AK König, AK Bärham and MPI Potsdam, led by Dr. Saikat Das of the König group, was published in ACS Catalysis! 

The reaction demonstrated broad functional group tolerance, a wide substrate scope and could be used in the late-stage functionalization of pharmaceutical molecules. Jaspreet's kinetic studies demonstrated zero-order profiles for this surface adsorption-limited reaction. She evaluated the scalability options, and found that, surprisingly, flow photochemistry was not the way to go due to time-divorced flowing steams of solid and liquid phases. Further studies are needed to identify continuous flow options for this synthetically useful reaction!

Well done Jaspreet, and well done to all involved! 




New toys
A Happy New Year to all from AK Bärham!

Like everything.. Christmas was delayed by the pandemic and arrived late; the Bären are pleased to announce their acquisition of a new toy from Corning SAS; a lab flow photoreactor for gas/liquid heterogeneous photochemistry - look forward to taming O2-consuming and N2-evolving reactions in it!

Corning Stockphoto


Student success - Our first PhD student
Thrilled, that Jaspreet who completed her Master Thesis as the very first MSc graduate of the Bärham group (with, let it be known, a top 1.0 grade for her Thesis..), is staying with us for a Ph.D.!! Welcome and may the flow be with you..


New paper
Interested in photochemistry, photosensitization, fluorinations or trifluoromethylations? How do small, EUR/kg cheap, 'colourless' organic photosensitizers enable C-F bond formations or trifluoromethylations selectively, up to gram scale with light? Shahboz published a comprehensive overview in Beilstein J. Org. Chem. Terrific effort & congratulations!



New cover
Our cover image for Mark and Michal's Org. Biomol. Chem. was selected for the outside front cover of Issue 39! 

The amide enolate and styrene get married in a metal-ene transition state by 'vicar' potassium atop the wedding CAKES (C-Alkylation of K Enolates with Styrenes). The knife of mechanistic studies dissects the reaction mechanism. Meanwhile the benzylate are dimethylphenylvinylsilane make for a quick 'reactive' getaway to catch a CAB (C-Alkylation of Benzylates)

Artist credit to our graphic designer Sarah S. Coutts!

Check it out:



New paper
Our review, "C-alkylations of Alkali Metal Carbanions with Olefins" (CAMCOs) is published in Org. Biomol. Chem. It covers the historical perspective, contemporary applications and developing mechanistic understanding of this bizarre class of reactions.

Proud of Mark and Michafor their superb lockdown efforts.



New toys
Our Auto-Frequency Tunable (AFT) Microwave Flow Reactors (100 W, 0.8-9.9 mL/min = top; 250 W, 0.8-50.0 mL/min = bottom) from SAIDA FDS Inc. have survived a long journey at sea and arrived safely in Regensburg!

Look forward to doing some high temp. high productivity reactions!


New toys
Our Vapourtec UV-150 photo-flow reactor complete with slurry-capable V3 peristaltic pumps and flow-commander software has arrived! Lets get that photochem scaled up to useful quantities :-]


Our second postdoc
We welcome Dr. Xianhai Tian to the group! Dr. Tian graduated with his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Prof. Dr. Stephen Hashmi's group in Heidelburg.


New toys
Our ElectraSyn2.0 Pro's complete with Carousel modules have arrived! Time to electrify some organic synthesis... :-]



Our first postdoc
We welcome Dr. Shangze Wu to the group! Dr. Wu joins us after completing his postdoctoral reasearch in Prof. Dr. Andreas Gansäuer's group in Bonn. Dr. Wu graduated with his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Zhejiang University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Shengming Ma.

  1. Fakulty of Chemistry and Pharmacy
  2. Institute of Organic Chemistry

Joshua Barham



Sofja Kovalevskaja Group Leader

Office: CH 23.2.80

Phone +49 (0)941 943-4373