The research emphases of the Institute lie in the fields of molecular and organoelement chemistry, particularly the chemistry of the transition metals and Groups 13 and 14 of the periodic table. In addition to the synthesis of new types of molecules, work in the Institute focuses on their reactivity, kinetic and mechanistic studies, and the determination of their crystal and molecular structures. Recent developments have included results in the areas of bioinorganic chemistry, new materials, homogeneous and solid-supported catalysis, and the applications of organometallic compounds in organic synthesis.
The research in these areas has direct applications in industry and everyday life, for instance the discovery of new pharmaceuticals, pesticides, dyes, fragrances, medical imaging agents, explosives, and components for electronic devices such as OLEDs. The novel synthetic processes developed to make these molecules also have broad real-life applications, particularly catalytic organic synthesis using transition metal or main-group catalysts, which is used extensively in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and agrochemical industries.