Catalysis - Lee Group

This is the webpage of the Lee group, which is located at the Department of Chemistry (Organic Chemistry Section, Nanoscience Center) University of Copenhagen, Denmark. We are aiming to develop new catalytic methodologies for organic syntheses using state-of-the-art functionalized materials, contributing to society and scientific communities by providing solutions for current global issues, including desalination, carbon capture and conversion. 
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More than 13 gigatonnes of CO2 are released annually into the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel combustion, causing climate changes and ocean acidification. In addition to carbon-capturing processes, CO2-functionalization using a catalytic process is an ideal solution towards creating more valuable resources to compensate the input energy in the conversion process. This work implies that industrial waste, namely CO2 can be transformed to industrially useful chemicals, serving as a fuel source. Additionally, we are highly focused on the development of unprecedented asymmetric catalytic protocols utilizing CO2. Our methodology development will be beneficial to understand the origin of chirality on Earth, which is one of the profound "unnatural" events on our planet. By taking advantage of knowledge in organo and organometallic asymmetric catalysis, we will provide ground-breaking synthetic methodology for constructing from small to large and complex molecules in enantioselective fashion from carbon dioxide.

Related publications:

Y. Yang, J.-W. Lee, Chem. Sci. 201910, 3905.

M. Juhl, J.-W. Lee​, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201857, 12318.

Desalination and Water Purification

The increasing scarcity of potable water (drinking water) has been dramatically emphasizing the importance of seawater desalination as a primary means to obtain an ample and safe fresh water supply. Recent global climate changes are seemingly accelerating the unpredictability of
secure water supply sources—even in developed countries—threatening society’s sustainable growth. Seawater is a seemingly limitless water source, but obtaining energy-efficient desalination processes is a formidable challenge. Our group aims at facile desalination processes using functionalized organic materials, organic porous polymers, and membrane systems. 

A. R. Petersen, M. Juhl, A. Petrovic, J.-W. Lee, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2021, 5003

Ayyar, A. S.-R.; Aregawi, D. T.; Petersen, A. R.; Pedersen, J. M. I.; Kragh, R. R.; Desoky, M. M. H.; Sundberg, J.; Vinum, L.; Lee, J.-W. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 6, 3499–3506

CO2-Mediated Organic Synthesis

Kinetic and thermodynamic control of organic reactions provides a general tool for organic synthesis. Carbon dioxide, although it is thermodynamically stable, can be a beneficial additive and/or catalyst for organic transformation as Lewis and a Brønsted acid precursor. We are investigating the utility of CO2 to the fullest extent as a general catalyst providing unprecedented chemo- and even enantioselectivity by manipulating transition states and thermodynamic stability of desired products.

T. Roy, M. Kim, Y. Yang, S. Kim, G. Kang, X. Ren, A. Kadziola, H.-Y. Lee, M.-H. Baik, J.-W. Lee, ACS Catal. 20199, 6066.

Y. Yang, L. Jian, F. S. Kamounah, G. Ciancaleoni, J.-W. Lee, J. Org. Chem2021, 86, 16867–16881. 

M. Juhl, A. R. Petersen, J,-W. Lee, Chem. Eur. J.  2021, 27, 228

Y. Yang, N. H. Fischer, M. T. Oliveira, G. B. Hadaf, J. Liu, T. Brock-Nannestad, F. Diness, J.-W. Lee, Org. Biomol. Chem., 202220, 4526-4533.

J. M. V. Lauridsen, M. Poderyte, J.-W. Lee, Green Chem. 202325, 1332-1338.











See full publication list here

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Ji-Woong Lee

Associate Professor 

Department of Chemistry

Nanoscience Center

NNF CO2 Research Center

PhD Students

Marco Milia (2021)

Jerik Mathew Valera Lauridsen (2021)

Aleksa Petrovic (2021)

Shriaya Sharma (2022)

Gul Barg Hadaf (2022)

Anders Grundtvig Utzon (2022)

Margarita Poderyte (2023)

Xinkai Wu (2023)

Christian Hansen (2023)

Postdoctoral Researchers 

Rodrigo Jose da Silva Lima

Anand Ayyar

Exchange Students



BSc and MSc students from Department of Chemistry, Nanoscience Center and MedChem Center are welcome to contact Jiwoong for projects in organic synthesis, homogeneous catalysis, carbon dioxide chemistry, electrochemistry, desalination and waste utilization.

PhD: closed

Postdoc: email CV, publication list, motivation letter, and research proposal to Jiwoong








Joonas Jokivartio

B.Sc. Erasmus Student (2017)

Mohamed Desoky

Erasmus Student (2017)

Dasol Hwang

Research Assistant (2016-2017)

Dr. Pramod Kumar EK

Visiting Postdoc (2016)
Postdoctoral research fellow at SKKU

Mads Georg Rasmussen

Summer BSc Project (2017)
PhD candidate at KU

Dr. Esben Paul Krogh Olsen

Postdoc (2016)

See Wei Li Willy

Research Internship (2016-2017)

Samantha Hong Hui Lee

Research Internship (2016-2017)

Dr. Xinyi Ren

Postdoc (2017-2018)

Mattias Sauzon

Research Intern (2018 Summer)

Johann Raillard

Research Intern (2018 Summer)

Joseph Venner

Master Student (2016-2018)

Owais Sheikh Ahmed

BSc Research Student (2018)

Aleksa Petrovic

BSc Research Student (2018)
MSc Student (2021)
Research Assistant (2021)

Betty Alfirizky Kustiana

Master Student (2017-2018)
PhD candidate at Cardiff University

Dr. Rodrigo Lima

Postdoc (2018)
Federal University of Campina Grande

Gul Barg Hadaf

BSc Student

Jerik Mathew Valera Lauridsen

BSc Research Student (2018)
MSc Student (2021)
Research Assistant (2021)

Steffen Brastrup Mogensen

MSc Student

Emilie Sperling Andreasen

BSc Student (2019)

Niklas Henrik Fischer

Research assistant (2019)
PhD Student KU

Benjamin Regen-Pregizer

Master student (2019)
PhD student at LMU, Germany

Daniella Clemann Kaas

BSc student (2019)

Anna Katrine Duska Skakic

BSc student (2019)
MSc student (2020)

Lorna Pagnini

Erasmus student (2019)
BSc Polytech Grenoble engineering school

Lola Fernandez

Erasmus student (2019)
BSc Polytech Grenoble engineering school

Laraeb Sonia Qureshi

BSc Project Student (2020)

Naser Abdul Yousefi

BSc Student (2020)

Martin Juhl

PhD (2019), Postdoc (2020)

Dr. Tamal Roy

Postdoc (2018-2020)

Dr. Allan R. Petersen

Postdoc (2018-2020)

Steffen Brastrup Mogensen

Master student (2020)

Jonas Merlin Ibsgaard Pedersen

Master student (2020)

Simon Dotzauer

Erasmus student (2020)
Master student Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany

Matt Gerard Clancy

MSc student (2020-2021)

Rasmus Kragh

MSc student (2021)
BSc student (2019)

Nour El Amel Khaldi

Erasmus student (2021)
Master student Sorbonne University, France

Kamal Maharjan

Master student (2020-2021)

Eva Neuville

Erasmus student (2021-2022)
Polytech Lyon, France

Sophus Ostenfeld Hasselby

Bsc project (PUK, 2022)

Om Prakash

Postdoc (2021-2022)

Jian Liu

PhD student (2020-2023)

Desta Tesfay Aregawi

Research assistant (2018)
Research assistant (2022)
Lecturer, Mekelle University