The scientific interests are centred in the areas of asymmetric synthesis and catalysis: the development of novel methods for the synthesis of chiral compounds based on organocatalysis or in homogeneous catalysis with transition metals complexed to chiral ligands; the synthesis of functionalized nanoparticles for applications in asymmetric synthesis; the synthesis of chiral phosphonates with potential biological activity; the application of renewable sources such as amino acids in catalysis.
1. Organocatalyzed synthesis of tertiary alpha-hydroxyphosphonates via a highly regioselective modified Pudovik reaction, M. T. Barros, A. M. Faísca Phillips, Eur. J. Org. Chem., Special Issue: Women in Chemistry 2011, 20-21, 3567-3579 and 4028-4036.
2. Asymmetric organocatalytic reactions for the synthesis of heterocycles, M. T. Barros and A. M. Faísca Phillips, in Heterocyclic Targets in Advanced Organic Synthesis, M. C. Carreiras, J. Marco-Contelles, Eds, Research Signpost, Kerala, India, 2011, pp 1-50.
3. The first enantioselective [3+2] cycloaddition of epoxides to arylisocyanates: synthesis of chiral oxazolidinone phosphonates, M. T. Barros, A. M. Faísca Phillips, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2010, 21, 2746-2752.
4. Enamine catalysis in the synthesis of chiral structural analogs of gem-bisphosphonates known to be biologically active, M. T. Barros, A. M. Faísca Phillips, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2008, 15, 2525–2529.
5. Chiral piperazines as efficient catalysts for the asymmetric Michael addition of aldehydes to nitroalkenes, M. T. Barros, A. M. Faísca Phillips, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 178-185.
6. Novel chiral bis(oxazolines): synthesis and application as ligands in the copper-catalyzed enantioselective conjugate addition of diethylzinc to enones, M. T. Barros, C. D. Maycock, A. M. Faísca Phillips, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2005, 16 (17), 2946–2953.
7. Synthesis of gamma-butyrolactones via a Baeyer-Villiger oxidation with hydrogen peroxide, catalysed by methyltrioxorhenium, A. M. Faísca Phillips, C. Romão, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 1999, 1767-1770.
8. Phosphonic systems. Part 3. Diethyl 2-propenylphosphonate, a versatile reagent for skeleton modifications, A. M. M. M. Phillips, T. A. Modro, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1991, 1875-1879.