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Catalysis Research Group

«Of course, if one ignores contradictory observations, one can claim to have an elegant and robust theory. But it isn’t science.» (Halton Arp)

Dr. Christian Frech Nabold, Research Group Leader


The Frech group is active in two main research directions. One research program is devoted to the design and development of new, stable but highly active catalyst systems that once will find their application in organic syntheses and industrial processes. General applicability, high functional group tolerance, short, facile and high-yielding catalyst syntheses from inexpensive and non-toxic starting materials are essential for the successful design and development of such systems to promote cost-efficient and eco-friendly processes.

The second research program includes the development/route-scouting of short, cost-efficient and patent non-infringing syntheses to API's (or or intermediate compounds), which may (but not necessarily) involve catalytic reaction steps. Research projects with industrial partners in this field have already been successfully accomplished, of which some of the newly developed processes have already been successfully transferred to production. We are trained in the development of novel scalable syntheses of organic molecules from small to multi-gram-scale that adopt industrial needs and are very fast in adopting changes in the industrial needs into our synthesis strategies/developments. The Frech group is holder of an appropriate licence for the synthesis and handling of controlled substances and narcotics.

Main Research Areas

Frech’s Catalyst

Frech’s catalyst systems are activated based on a novel activation path: the nanoparticles produced are stabilized by the in-situ generated decomposition products of the catalyst precursors, which explains their unique robustness and catalytic activity

The successfull application of Frech’s catalyst systems in organic synthesis was confirmed by several research groups all over the world.

API Synthesis

The development of short, and cost-efficient, scalable synthesis routes, that selectively lead the APIs in high yields, using patent non-infringing routs is an academic challenge, circumventing known routes by short-cuts or unconventional synthetic routes.



Dr. Christian Frech Nabold

ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management
Fachgruppe Grundlagenchemie
Einsiedlerstrasse 31
8820 Wädenswil

+41 (0) 58 934 53 29

Master Students

Bachlor Students