Burgert Blom (B.)

Associate Professor (UHD)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Berlin), PhD (Bonn), MSc (Cape Town). Visiting Research Associate, University Of Cape Town, Department of Chemistry, Summer 2017. Editorial Board: Molecules (Inorganic Section). Guest Editor: Open Chemistry, 2017: Special issue on Bond Activation. Guest Editor: Molecules, 2019-20: Special Issue on Reactive Organometallic Complexes. Guest Editor: Molecules 2020: 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Inorganic Chemistry.

Research Interests:

Bonding between transition metals, f-block and s-block metals and the heavy p-block elements, particularly group 14 elements (Si-Pb). A new field at the interface of classical and contemporary inorganic chemistry. Employing these complexes in materials science, as catalysts and in medicinal applications and more generally, fundamental enquiry. Recently, strongly focused on anti-cancer applications of such novel agents, since 2016 (with many collaborators). In particular, research centres around the rational design of novel hetero and homobimetallic systems:  [LnM,M'Ln] (M = d-block metal, M' = p-block metals or some other d-block metal, Ln = Ligand sphere).  Also focussed on the development of Vanadium based catalysts for polymerisation applications (in collaboration with Dario Romano, AMIBM). 

 Courses (Undergraduate):

  • CHE 3002 (Transition Metal and Main Group Chemistry): Course Coordinator (Spring)
  • CHE 2002 (Inorganic Chemistry): Course Coordinator (Fall)
  • CHE 2008 (Main-Group Chemistry): Course Coordinator (Fall)
  • PRA3008 (Transition Metal Chemistry) Course Coordinator (Spring)
  • CHE2004 (Spectroscopy) Course Coordinator (Fall)

Courses (Graduate):

  • MIE1003 (Molecules and Structures) Course Coordinator (Fall)

 Peer reviewed articles / book chapters: (with * corresponding author)

  1. * M. Odachowski, R. Neven, C. Slabber, D. Romano, M. Honing, P. Han, P. Dyson, G. Perversi, O. Munro, B. Blom. J. Inorg. Biochem. 2023, 242, 112156.
  2. *T. Nabiyeva, B. Roufosse, M. Odachowski, J. Baumgartner, C. Marschner, A. Verma, B. Blom, ACS Omega, 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.1c02665.
  3. *B. Blom, E. Ferrari, V. Tangoulis, C. R. Mayer, A. Klein, C. C. Stoumpos, Molecules, 2021, 26, 2589.
  4. *T. Kuijpers, B. Blom, Homo and Heterobimetallic complexes bearing m-diphosphane bridges involved in biological studies, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2021, 223, 113651.
  5. H. Yang, Y. van Ingen, B. Blom, S. Rastogi, D. Romano, Structural modification of phenoxyimine titanium complexes and activation studies with alkylaluminum compounds, ChemCatChem, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.202000731
  6. *A. Benamrane, B. Herry, V. Vieru, S. Chakraborty, S. Biswas, S. Prince, C. Marschner, B. Blom, J. Organomet. Chem. 2021, 934, 121659.
  7. * H. Ishikura, R. Nevin, A. Galetova, T. Lange, B. Blom, D. Romano, Developments in Vanadium Catalysed Polymerisation reactions: A Review, Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2021, 515, 120047.
  8. *A. Fiorentino, P. Panariti, L. v. Turnhout, M. Spronck, A. Klein, S. Schmitz, S. Rastogi, B. Blom, D. Romano, Immobilization of [VCl3(N-2,6-Me2C6H3)] Complex on Silica Supports: Synthesis and Catalytic Testing for Ethylene Polymerization, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2020, 59 (28), 12710.
  9. *M. Odachowski, C. Marschner, B. Blom, A Review on 1,1-Bis(diphenylphosphino)methane bridged homo- and heterobimetallic complexes for anticancer applications: synthesis, structure, and cytotoxicity, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2020, 204, 112613.
  10. *T. Nabiyeva, C. Marschner, B. Blom, Synthesis, Structure and Anti-Cancer Activity of Osmium Complexes Bearing p-Bound Arene Substituents and Phosphane Co-Ligands: A Review, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2020, 201, 112483.
  11. * D. BenYosef, M. Hadaji, D. Romano, P. Dyson, B. Blom, Facile Synthesis of Heterobimetallic [FeII(µ-diphosphine)RuII] and Homobimetallic [FeII(µ -diphosphine)FeII] Complexes and their in vitro Cytotoxic Activity on Cisplatin-resistant Cancer Cells, Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2020, 510, 119731.
  12. * N. Aldeghi,D. Romano, C. Marschner, S. Biswas, S. Chakraborty, S. Prince, S. Ngubane, B. Blom, Facile entry to germanate and stannate complexes [(η6-arene)RuCl(η2-dppm)]+[ECl3]- (E = Ge, Sn) as potent anti-cancer agents, J. Organomet. Chem. 2020, 916, 121214.
  13. * B. Herry, L. K. Batchelor, B. Roufosse, D. Romano, J. Baumgartner, M. Borzova, T. Reifenstahl, T. Collins, A. Benamrane, J. Weggelaar, M. C. Correia, P. J. Dyson, B. Blom, Heterobimetallic [Ru(m-dppm)Fe] and Homobimetallic [Ru(m-dppm)Ru] Complexes as Potential Anti-cancer Agents, Submitted, J. Organomet. Chem. 2019, 910, 120934.
  14. C. A. M. R. van Slagmaat, Khi Chhay Chou, Lukas Moric, Darya Hadavi,
    B. Blom , and S. M. A. De Wildeman,
    Synthesis and Catalytic Application of Knölker-type Iron Complexes with a Novel Asymmetric Cyclopentadienone Ligand Design, Catalysts 2019, 9 (10), 790.
  15. * Berg, Clara; Chari, Suviti; Jurgaityte, Kaste; Laurora, Alice; Naldony, Mateusz; Pope, Frances; Romano, Dario; Medupe, Thato; Prince, Sharon; Ngubane, Siyabonga; Blom, B., Modulation of the solubility properties of arene ruthenium complexes bearing stannyl ligands as potential anti-​cancer agents, J. Organomet. Chem. 2019891, 12.
  16. * C. Deacon-Price, D. Romano, T. Riedel, P. Dyson and B. Blom*, Synthesis, Characterisation and Cytotoxicity Studies of Ruthenium Arene Complexes Bearing Trichlorogermyl Ligands,  Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2019, 484, 513.   
  17. * M. Spronck, A. Klein, B. Blom, D. Romano, Synthesis of Disentangled UltraHigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene using Vanadium(V)Based Catalysts, Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem. 2018, 644(17), 993.
  18. van Leeuwen, Nicole S.; Blom, Burgert; Xie, Mengying; Adamaki, Vana; Bowen, Chris R.; de Araujo, Moises A.; Mascaro, Lucia H.; Cameron, Petra J.; Marken, Frank, Appl. Energy Mat. 2018, 1, 38.
  19. M. Schmidt,  B. Blom, T. Szilvási, M. Driess, R. Schomaeker, Improving the Catalytic Activity in   the Rhodium-Mediated Hydroformylation of Styrene by a Bis(N-heterocyclic silylene) Ligand, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 1284.
  20. * O. Renier, C. Deacon-Price, J. E. B. Peters, K. Nurekeyeva, C. Russon, S. Dyson, S. Ngubane,  J. Baumgartner, P. J. Dyson, T. Riedel, H. Chiririwa, B. Blom,  Synthesis and In Vitro (Anticancer) Evaluation of η6-Arene Ruthenium Complexes Bearing Stannyl Ligands, Inorganics 2017, 5(3), 44.
  21. * R. Zitz, H. Arp, J. Hlina, M. Walewska, C. Marschner, T. Szilvási,* B. Blom,*  J. Baumgartner, Open-Shell Lanthanide (+II) or (+III) Complexes Bearing s-Silyl and Silylene Ligands: Synthesis, Structure, and Bonding Analysis, Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 3306.
  22. K. Hansen, B. Blom,  T. Szilvási, M. Driess, Transition Metal Complexes of a "Half-​Parent" Phosphasilene Adduct Representing Silylene→Phosphinidene→Metal Complexes, Organometallics, 2015, 34, 5703.
  23. K. Hansen, T. Szilvási, B. Blom, M. Driess, From an Isolable Acyclic Phosphinosilylene Adduct to Donor-​Stabilized Si=E Compounds (E = O, S, Se), Chem. Eur. J.  2015, 21, 18930.
  24. K. Hansen, T. Szilvási, B. Blom, M. Driess, A Persistent 1,​2-​Dihydrophosphasilene Adduct, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2015, 54, 15060.
  25. * B. Blom, A. Said, T. Szilvási, P. Menezes, J. Baumgartner, M. Driess, Alkaline-​Earth-​Metal-​Induced Liberation of Rare Allotropes of Elemental Silicon and Germanium from N-​Heterocyclic Metallylenes, Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 8840.
  26.  S. Yao, F. Meier, N. Lindenmaier, R. Rudolph, B. Blom, M. Adelhardt, J. Sutter, K. M. Meyer, M. Driess et al., Biomimetic [2Fe-​2S] Clusters with Extensively Delocalized Mixed-​Valence Iron Centers,  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 12506.
  27. G. Tan. S. Inoue, S. Enthaler, B. Blom, M. Driess, Nickel Mediated Hydride Migration for Access to the Chelating N-Heterocyclic Silylene-Carbene Supported Nickel Complexes, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201409739.
  28. D. Gallego, B. Blom, G. Tan, M. Driess: Chelating N-Heterocyclic Silylenes as Steering Ligands in Catalysis, Reference Module in Chemistry, Molecular Sciences and Chemical Engineering, Elsevier, 2015.
  29. * B. Blom, G. Tan, D. Gallego, G. Klatt, M. Driess: Unprecedented Silicon(II)àCalcium Complexes with N-Heterocyclic Silylenes, Dalton. Trans. 2015, 44, 639.
  30. D. Gallego, B. Blom, S. Inoue, M. Driess, Highly Electron-Rich Pincer-Type Iron Complexes Bearing Innocent Bis(metallylene)pyridine Ligands: Syntheses, Structures, and Catalytic Activity, Organometallics, 2014, 33, 6885.
  31. K. Hansen, T. Szilvási, B. Blom, M. Driess: An Amplified Ylidic Half-Parent Imonosilane LSi=NH, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 126, 14207.
  32. B. Blom, M. Driess: Recent Advances in Silylene Chemistry: Small Molecule Activation En-Route Towards Metal-Free Catalysis, Functional Molecular Silicon Compounds - Structure and Bonding, Springer, 2014.
  33. * B. Blom, M. Pohl, D. Gallego, G. Tan, M. Driess: From Unsymmetrically Substituted Benzamidinato and Guanidinato Dichlorohydridosilanes to Novel Hydrido N-Heterocyclic Silylene (NHSi) Iron Complexes, Organometallics 2014, 33 (19), 5272.
  34. G. Tan, T. Szilvási, S. Inoue, B. Blom, M. Driess: An Elusive Hydridoaluminum(I) Complex for Facile C–H and C–O Bond Activation of Ethers and Access to Its Isolable Hydridogallium(I) Analogue: Syntheses, Structures and Theoretical Studies,  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 9732.
  35. R. Rudolph, B. Blom. S. Yao, E. Bill, M. van Gastel, M. Kaupp, M. Driess: ynthesis, Reactivity, and Electronic Structure of a Bioinspired Heterobimetallic [Ni(m-S2)Fe] Complex with Disulfur Monoradical Character, Organometallics 2014, 33, 3154.
  36. G. Tan, B. Blom, D. Gallego, E. Irran, M. Driess: Elucidating the Effect of the Nucleophilicity of the Silyl Group in the Reduction of CO2 to CO Mediated by Silyl-Copper(I) Complexes,  Chem. Eur, -J. 2014, 20, 9400.
  37. G. Tan, W. Wang, B. Blom, M. Driess: Mechanistic studies of CO2 reduction to methanol mediated by an N-heterocyclic germylene hydride, Dalton Trans. 2014, 43, 6006. (Front Cover).
  38. B. Blom, D. Gallego, M. Driess: N-Heterocyclic silylene complexes in catalysis: new frontiers in an emerging field, Inorg. Chem. Front. 2014, 1, 134. (Front Cover)
  39. K. Hansen, T. Szilvasi, B. Blom, E. Irran, M. Driess: A Donor-Stabilized Zwitterionic “Half-Parent” Phosphasilene and Its Unusual Reactivity towards Small Molecules, Chem. – Eur. J. 2014, 20, 1947.
  40. G. Tan, B. Blom, D. Gallego, M. Driess: Facile Access to Mono- and Dinuclear Heteroleptic N-Heterocyclic Silylene Copper Complexes, Organometallics, 2014, 33, 363.
  41. B. Blom, G. Tan, S. Enthaler, S. Inoue, J. –D. Epping, M. Driess: Bis N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC) Stabilized h6-Arene Iron(0) Complexes: Synthesis, Structure, Reactivity, and Catalytic Activity, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 18108. *
  42. M. Stoelzel, C. Praesang, B. Blom, M.  Driess: N-Heterocyclic Silylene (NHSi) Rhodium and Iridium Complexes: Synthesis, Structure, Reactivity, and Catalytic Ability, Aust. J. Chem. 2013, 66, 1163.
  43. K. Hansen, T. Szilvasi, B. Blom, S. Inoue, J. –D.  Epping, M. Driess: A Fragile Zwitterionic Phosphasilene as a Transfer Agent of the Elusive Parent Phosphinidene (:PH), J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 11795.
  44. G. Tan, Y. Xiong, S. Inoue, S. Enthaler, B. Blom, J. –D. Epping, M. Driess: From elusive thio- and selenosilanoic acids to copper(I) complexes with intermolecular Si=E--> Cu–O–Si coordination modes (E = S, Se), Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 5595.
  45. B. Blom, S. Enthaler, S. Inoue, E. Irran, M. Driess: Electron-Rich N-Heterocyclic Silylene (NHSi)–Iron Complexes: Synthesis, Structures, and Catalytic Ability of an Isolable Hydridosilylene–Iron Complex, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 6703.
  46. B. Blom, M. Stoelzel, M. Driess: New Vistas in N-Heterocyclic Silylene (NHSi) Transition-Metal Coordination Chemistry: Syntheses, Structures and Reactivity towards Activation of Small Molecules, Chem. Eur. –J. 2013, 19, 40. (Front Cover).
  47. B. Blom, S. Inoue, M. Driess, D. Gallego: Facile Access to Silicon-Functionalized Bis-Silylene Titanium(II) Complexes, Chem. Eur. –J. 2012, 18, 13355.
  48. A. C. Filippou, O. Chernov, B. Blom, K. W. Stumpf, G. Schnakenburg: Stable N-Heterocyclic Carbene Adducts of Arylchlorosilylenes and Their Germanium HomologuesChem. Eur. –J .2010, 16, 2866.
  49. N. Brennan, B. Blom, D. Liles, S. Lotz and P. H. van Rooyen: Substitution reactions of tetrahydrofuran in [Cr(thf)3Cl3] with mono and bidentate N-donor ligands: X-ray crystal structures of [Cr(bipy)(OH2)Cl3] and [HpyNH2][Cr(bipy)Cl4]Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2008, 361, 3042. 
  50. *  B. Blom, G. Klatt, J. R. Moss: Computational investigation of ethene trimerisation catalysed by cyclopentadienyl chromium complexes, Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2007, 360, 2890. 
  51. B. Blom, M. Kilkenny, H. Clayton, J. R. Moss: Metallacycloalkanes: Synthesis, Structure and Reactivity of Medium to Large Ring Compounds, Adv. Organomet. Chem. 2006, 54, 149.
  52. B. Blom, M. J. Overett, R.Meijboom, J. R. Moss: New palladium α-diimine complexes containing dendritic wedges for ethene oligomerisation, Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2005, 358, 3491. 



1. Katalysator zur Hydroformylierung von Olefinen und dessen Verwendung: PCT Int. Appl. (2017), WO 2017178536 A1 20171019



B. Blom “Reactivity of Ylenes at Late Transition Metal Centres” Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen, 2011.

Invited Lectures: (2015-19)

​1. Invited Lecture, Nelson Mandela University, Department of Chemistry, July 2019.:”Highly potent novel ruthenium complexes as new anti-cancer agents”

2.  Invited Lecture, Maastricht University, Department of Biobased Materials, October, 2018: “Ruthenium based anti-cancer agents”

3. Lecture at PAS Festival, Maastricht University, September, 2018.

4. Invited Lecture, University of Cape Town, Department of Chemistry, August 2017. “Bonding between heavy p-block elements and s, f and d-block metals: Applications is Catalysis, Materials, and Medicines”

5. Invited Lecture, Nelson Mandela University, Department of Chemistry, August 2017. “Bonding between heavy p-block elements and s, f and d-block metals: Applications is Catalysis, Materials, and Medicines”

6. Invited Lecture, University of Cologne, May 2017, Institute fuer Anorganische Chemie. ”Access to rare allotropes of silicon and germanium from the controlled decomposition of NHSi:->Ae complexes”

7. Invited Lecture, University of Cape Town, Chemistry Department, July 2016. “Formation of rare allotropes of silicon and germanium from well defined single source precursors under mild conditions”

8. Invited lecture: University of Copenhagen, Annual assembly of the Danish Chemical Society, November, 12 2015.

Active Collaborations

  1. University of Cologne institute fuer Anorganische Chemie (Germany) with the group of Prof. Dr. Axel Klein

  2. University of Cape Town, Chemistry Department (South Africa): Group of Dr. Siyabonga Ngubane and Prof. Dr. Sharon Prince (UCT Med. School).

  3. Technische Universitaet Graz (Austria): Dr. Judith Baumgartner and Prof. Dr. Christoph Marschner

  4. EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland) with Prof. Dr. Paul Dyson.

  5. Maastricht University (BBM) Dr Dario Romano.

  6. University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) Prof. Dr. Orde Munro.

Research Experience

  • Extensive experience with the synthesis and manipulation of extremely air and moisture sensitive compounds using Schlenk / glove-box techniques.
  • Extensive experience with NMR spectroscopy: (1D and 2D spectroscopy): 1H, 13C, 31P, 11B, 19F, 119Sn, / H, H-Cosy, HMBC / H,X-Cosy experiments.
  • Good experience with CW-EPR (continuous-wave) and Pulsed-EPR: (1D and 2D)
  • Extensive experience with the interpretation of 57Fe Mößbauer spectroscopy.
  • Routine use of single Crystal X-ray diffraction analysis (circa 80 structures to date).
  • Routine use of and in-depth understanding of: Infra-red spectroscopy / Cyclic Voltammetery / Elemental Analysis/ HRMS.
  • Good experience with Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods.
  • Excellent background in Homogeneous Catalysis.


  • Dr. Edmund ter Meer prize — Best doctoral dissertation in chemistry (shared), University of Bonn (2012).