Luís Branco

Senior Researcher


Department of Chemistry, FCT-UNL

LAQV-REQUIMTE - Associate Laboratory for Green Chemistry

office 426-A, tel. +351212948300, ext. 10986


short CV / research interests:

My academic and research experience have been acquired by Chemistry Degree (FCUL, 1998); PhD in Organic Chemistry (May 2006; FCT/UNL) under supervision of Prof. Carlos Afonso; a Postdoctoral position (June 2006 to March 2008; IST/UTL and Cambridge, UK) in Supramolecular Chemistry, Assistant Research Position in REQUIMTE, FCT/UNL (April 2008 to March 2013) and then Invited Research position in the same Institution (April 2013 to December 2013). In January 2014, he was appointed Principal Investigator at FCT/UNL.

My main scientific achievements are related with the development of more sustainable Synthetic strategies including novel approaches for asymmetric catalysis as well as novel platforms for pharmaceutical chemistry. 

Recent research include the development of novel ionic liquids (ILs) in three main independent guidelines:

(a) Development of Bioinspired Chiral ILs based on biological molecules for application in enantiomeric resolution, asymmetric catalysis and other chiral recognition processes. The possibility to use available and natural chiral biological molecules for the preparation of chiral ILs can open new avenues of research as well as avoid some problems related with the intrinsic biodegradability and toxicity associated to conventional ILs. 

(ii) Development of ILs as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API-ILs) based on antiinflammatory,

antibiotics, neurological disorders and cytostatic drugs. The use of an active drug as an IL can avoid some of polymorphism problems associated with crystalline solids which can dramatically influence a drug’s solubility and thus its dosages. Also, the combination of the adequate anion or cation with a specific drug might be relevant in order to change the correspondent biopharmaceutics drug classification system (BCS) as well as their drug formulation process. 

(iii) Development of Functional Ionic Liquids as Smart Materials based on Photochromic, electrochromic, luminescent, magnetic and energetic scaffolds. 

Solchemar as FCT/UNL start-up and the first Iberian Ionic Liquids company was founded by me and other colleagues as a success example of technology transfer

Major funding for research raised from FCT-MCE (2 projects as PI plus 5 as participant).

5 selected publications:

(full publication list: RID)

  • Nuno R. Candeias, Luís C. Branco, Pedro M. P.Gois, Carlos A. M. Afonso, Alexandre F. Trindade, "More Sustainable Approaches for the synthesis of N-based Heterocycles", Chem. Reviews, 2009, 109 (6), 2703. (DOI: 10.1021/cr800462w).

  • Aida Branco, Luis C. Branco, Fernando Pina "Magneto-Electrochromic Ionic Liquids", Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 2300. (DOI: 10.1039/C0CC03892J).

  • Luis C. Branco, Ana Serbanovic, Manuel N. da Ponte, Carlos A. M. Afonso,"Chiral Guanidinium Ionic Liquids for asymmetric dihydroxylation of olefins with recycling of the catalytic system by Supercritical CO2",  ACS Catalysis 2011, 1, 1408. (DOI: 10.1021/cs2001626).

  • Luís C. Branco, João G. Crespo, Carlos A. M. Afonso, "Highly Selective Transport of Organic Compounds by Using Supported Liquid Membranes Based on Ionic Liquids", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2002, 41, 2771 (VIP article) (DOI: 10.1002/1521-3773(20020802)41:15<2771::AID-ANIE2771>3.0.CO;2-U).

  • Ricardo Ferraz, Vânia Teixeira, Débora Rodrigues, Rúben Fernandes, Cristina Prudêncio, João Paulo Noronha, Željko Petrovski, Luís C. Branco, "Antibacterial activity of Ionic Liquids based on ampicillin against resistant bacteria", RSC Adv., 2014,4, 4301. (DOI: 10.1039/C3RA44286A).