Professor WONG Ming Wah, Richard

(Head of Department)

B.Sc.(Hons), B. Math., 1985, University of Newcastle; Ph.D., 1989, Australian National University; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, IBM, 1989; Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, 1990-1991.

Contact Information

Office: S8-03-03
Tel: (65)-6516-4320 | Fax: (65)-6779-1691
Email: | Personal webpage


ORCID: 0000-0003-2162-1220
ResearcherID: B-4772-2018


Recognition and Achievements

  • Associate Editor, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 2014 – current
  • President, Singapore Catalysis Society, 2011 - 2014
  • Advisory Board member,  Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2011 - current
  • Chairman, 4th Asian Pacific Conference on Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, 2009
  • Board Member, Asian Pacific Association on Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, present
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, National University of Singapore, 2002


Research Interests

  • Computational quantum chemistry, organocatalysis, hydrogen storage materials, molecular sensors
  • Weak intermolecular interactions, molecular recognition, reactive intermediates, computer-aided drug design


Research Highlight

Ref: Kee, C. W.; Wong, M. W. In silico design of halogen-bonding-based organocatalyst for Diels-Alder, Claisen Reactions & Cope-Type Hydroamination. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 7459-7470.

Using density functional calculations, we have shown the use of halogen-bond donors as non-covalent activators in Lewis acid catalysis. Proposed a new type of triaryl benzene organocatalysts via multiple halogen bond donors (e.g. perfluoro-iodophenyl group). This “in silico” designed halogen bonding (XB) based catalyst was applied to several important types of organic reaction, namely Diels-Alder reaction, Claisen rearrangement and cope-type hydroamination. The calculated catalytic mechanisms and activation barriers of these reactions readily demonstrate that the designed system is a promising Lewis acid catalyst via halogen bond mode of activation.


Representative Publications  

  • Kee, C. W.; Wong, M. W. In Silico Design of Halogen-Bonding-Based Organocatalyst for Diels-Alder Reaction, Claisen Rearrangement and Cope-Type Hydroamination. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 7459-7470.
  • Quah, H. S.; Chen, W.; Schreyer, M. K.; Yang, H.; Wong, M. W.; Ji, W.; Vittal, J. J. Multiphoton Harvesting Metal Organic Framework. Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7954-7960.
  • Yang, H.; Wong, M. W. Oxyanion Hole Stabilization by C-H▪▪▪O Interaction in Transition State - A Three-Point Interaction Model for Cinchona Alkaloid-Catalyzed Asymmetric Methanolysis of Meso-Cyclic Anhydrides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 5808-5818.
  • Jiang, Z.; Pan, Y.; Zhao, Y.; Ma, T.; Lee, R.; Yang, Y.; Huang, K. W.; Wong, M. W.; Tan, C. H. Synthesis of a Chiral Quaternary Carbon Center Bearing a Fluorine Atom: Enantioselective & Diastereoselective Guanidine-Catalyzed Addition of Fluorocarbon Nucleophiles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 3627-3631.
  • Steudel, R.; Wong, M. W. Dark-Red O8 molecules in Solid Oxygen: Rhomboid Clusters, not S8-like Rings. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 1768-1771.
  • Ghosh, T.; Maiya, B. G.; Wong, M. W. Fluoride Ion Receptors Based on Dipyrrolyl Derivatives Bearing Electron-Withdrawing Groups: Synthesis, Optical and Electrochemical Sensing and Computational Studies. J. Phys. Chem. A. 2004, 108, 11249-11259.
  • Wong, M. W. Prediction of a Metastable Helium Compound: HHeF. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2000,122, 6289-6290.
  • Wong, M. W.; Frisch, M. J.; Wiberg, K. B. Solvent Effects. 1. The Mediation of Electrostatic Effects by Solvents. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1991, 113, 4776-4782. [Received more 1000 citations].