Miquel Costas

Biologically inspired design of transition metal reactivity and catalysis

Contact info:
Dr. Miquel Costas
Tel. (+34) 972 41 98 42


Selected publications

Joan Serrano-Plana, Isaac Garcia-Bosch, Anna Company and Miquel Costas
Structural and Reactivity models for Copper Oxygenases: Cooperative Effects and Novel Reactivities
Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48(8), 2397-2406.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00187

Olaf Cussó, Xavi Ribas, Julio Lloret and Miquel Costas
Synergistic Interplay of a Non Heme Iron Catalyst and Amino Acid co-Ligands in H2O2 Activation for Asymmetric Epoxidation of ?-Alkyl Substituted Styrenes
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54(9), 2729-2733
DOI: 10.1002/anie.201410557

Cristina García-Simón, Marc Garcia-Borràs, Laura Gómez, Teodor Parella, Sílvia Osuna, Jordi Juanhuix, Inhar Imaz, Daniel Maspoch, Miquel Costas and Xavi Ribas
Sponge-like molecular cage for purification of fullerenes
Nat. Commun. 2014, 5, 5557.
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6557

Olaf Cussó, Isaac Garcia-Bosch, Xavi Ribas, Julio Lloret-Fillol, Miquel Costas
Asymmetric Epoxidation with H2O2 by Manipulating the Electronic Properties of Non-Heme Iron Catalysts
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135(39), 14871–14878.
DOI: 10.1021/ja4078446

Julio Lloret, Zoel Codolà, Isaac Garcia-Boch, Laura Gómez, Juan Jose Pla, Miquel Costas
Efficient Water Oxidation Catalysts Based on Readily Available Iron Coordination Complexes
Nat. Chem. 2011, 3(10), 807-813. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1140.
DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1140

+ Publications

Dr. Miquel Costas

Miquel Costas graduated in Chemistry at the University of Girona (UdG) in 1994, where he also pursued PhD studies in the group of Prof. A. Llobet. Research work during the PhD involved scientific stays at Texas A&M with Prof DHR Barton (1996), and in Basel with Prof. A. Zuberbüehler (1998). After his PhD dissertation, he moved to the group of Prof. L. Que, Jr, at the U. of Minnesota. In 2002 he returned to the Dept. of Chemistry of UdG with a Ramon I Cajal Fellowship, and in 2003 he was appointed professor Titular of Inorganic chemistry. In 2006 he initiated his independent career as a group leader in QBIS-CAT (www.udg.edu/qbis). He is being visiting scientist at Carneggie Mellon University (2005 with Prof. E. Münck) and Debye Institute invited professor at the University of Utrecht (2014). In 2008 he received an ICREA Academia Award, and an ERC Starting Grant. In 2014 he received the Award of the Spanish Royal Scociety of Chemistry to excellence in research. He’s coauthored over one hundred publications in international journals, and several book chapters.

Research overview

My research interests are broad and lay in the fields of coordination, bioinorganic, supramolecular chemistry and catalysis applied to chemical synthesis and energy related problems. I sought to obtain fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which the O-O bond is broken and formed at transition metals with biological relevance, especially iron, copper and manganese. I am also interested in generating and studying highly reactive chemical species with relevance in metal mediated O2-metabolism. This knowledge is fundamental towards the development of bioinspired oxidation catalysts to carry out selective oxidation reactions under environmentally benign conditions. In the supramolecular chemistry area, my goal is to develop nanoscopic scale molecules that could act as nanovessels, nanoreactors or functional materials, via self-assembly directed by coordination to metal ions.

Functional models of non-hemo Cu, Mn and Fe oxygenases

In this research line selective oxidation of C-H and C=C bonds is targeted in this research line via design of iron and manganese catalysts inspired in the active site of non-heme oxygenases, which could operate via activation of oxidants with high atom efficiency and low environmental impact. Elements to control regio, chemo and stereoselectivity are investigated. Selectivity is pursued via rational design of catalysts that exploit substrate recognition-exclusion phenomena, and control over proton and electron affinity of the active species. The fundamental mechanistic aspects are also studied with the aim of designing the catalysts of the future, and understanding the chemistry taking place in non-heme iron and manganese-dependent oxygenases. Fundamental basis to control formation of the O-O bond via oxidation of the water molecule by well-defined high valent metal-oxo species is also pursued.
An additional goal of is to prepare and characterize non porphyrinic iron and manganese complexes with high oxidation states. Understanding the chemistry of high valent metal-oxo species is fundamentally interesting because of their relevance in biology and in challenging catalytic oxidation reactions including C-H hydroxylation and O-O bond formation.


Self-assembly of coordination driven supramolecular nanocages and nanoreactors. (in collaboration with Xavi Ribas)

Supramolecular metal-driven self-assembly is a very powerful method for the rational design of supramolecular entities exhibiting a variety of bi- and tri-dimensional geometric organizations, with potential applications as chemical sensors and reaction nanovessels. Along this strategy, we have been able to synthesize a variety of structures that include molecular nanosized squares and rectangles, helicates and trigonal and tetragonal prismatic nanocapsules. Our strategy consists in the self-assembly of hexaazamacrocyclic dimetallic (Cu or Pd) molecular clips with polycarboxylate linkers to construct capsule-like compounds with selective host-guest properties to encapsulate a variety of molecules including fullerenes. Furthermore, we are interested in the use these cages as nanoreactors.



Principal Investigator

Miquel Costas

Prof. Titular

Staff and Postdocs

Giorgio Olivo

Postdoc (JdC)

PhD and MACMoM students

Adrià López

PhD Student (DI)

- M. Costas

Andrea Palone

PhD Student

- M. Costas

Carles Alonso

PhD student (DI)

- M. Costas

Carles Fuertes

PhD student

- M. Costas
- X. Ribas

Laia Vicens

PhD student (FPU)

- M. Costas

Marco Cianfanelli

PhD student (MSCA ITN)

- M. Costas
- X. Ribas

Margarida Borrell

PhD student (FPI)

- M. Costas

Mònica Rodríguez


- M. Costas

Valeria Dantignana

PhD student (MSCA ITN)

- A. Company
- M. Costas

Joel Nadal


- Miquel Costas


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN-ETN)

Project: Non-Noble Metal Catalysis (NoNoMeCat)
Researcher: Dr. Miquel Costas
Reference: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015-675020
Funding: 495.745 € (3.318.634 €)
Period: 01/01/2016 – 31/12/2019

MCIU Proyectos I+D.

Project: Catálisis de oxidación bioinspirada mediante diseño racional de cataliadores
Researcher: Dr. Miquel Costas
Reference: PGC2018-101737-B-100
Funding: 242.000 €
Period: 01/01/2019 – 31/12/2021

ICREA. Academia award.

Project: Programa ICREA Acadèmia 2018
Researcher: Dr. Miquel Costas
Reference: ICREA Acadèmia 2018
Funding: 205.000 €
Period: 01/01/2019 – 31/12/2023

MCIU Juan de la Cierva

Project: Juan de la Cierva – Formación
Researcher: Dr. Giorgio Olivo
Reference: FJCI-2016-30243
Funding: 50.000 €
Period: 01/12/2017 – 30/11/2019


Wiley book edited by members of the IQCC

This week a new book on “Spin states in Biochemistry and Inorganic Chemistry:

Two European research projects (ERC-PoC)

Recently researchers of the IQCC and research group QBIS-Cat of the University of

First Science Slam IQCC within Science Week

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

Summary of Girona Seminar on Predictive Catalysis

Introduction Since 1993 the Institut de Química Computacional i Catàlisi (IQCC) has been