Professor Academician M.G. VORONKOV and his School


Scientific aim of the School is fundamental research in synthetic, theoretical and applied chemistry of organic compounds of silicon and elements of Group 14, as well as organosulfur and organoiodine compounds.

School founder is the well-known chemist Professor Mikhail Grigorievich VORONKOV, Academician and the winner of the State Prizes of the Russian Federation and Ukraine Republic, he is also a recipient of the Premium of the USSR Council of Ministers, and he is awarded with the prizes named by outstanding scientists — D.I. Mendeleev, A. Einstein and A.N. Nesmeyanov, as well as with the Grand Prize of International Academic Publishing Company (IAPC — MAIK) “NAUKA/ INTERPERIODICA”. Academician VORONKOV is the holder of 5 orders and 30 medals, hi is the Honorable Citizen of Irkutsk Region.

Academician VORONKOV (06.12.1921 - 10.02.2014) was born in the town of Oryol, RF. He joined the Chemistry Department of the Leningrad State University in 1938. In July, 1941 he volunteered for the 102nd battalion of the Vasileostrovskaya Division of the Leningrad National Home Guard Army. In that December he suffered concussion and was released from the military service, but after that for some time he took part into the laboratory staff of Leningrad Anti-Aircraft Defense Headquarters. In March, 1942 he was evacuated from blockade Leningrad to Sverdlovsk (the Ural Region), where he rapidly graduated from the local University and the same year he was accepted as postgraduate at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences the USSR, evacuated to Kazan town. In 1944 M.G. Voronkov returned to his Alma mater at Leningrad as an assistant and then subsequently senior scientist on Organic Chemistry, and in 1959 he became successively Head of the Laboratory of Inorganic Polymers at the Institute of Chemistry of Silicates, USSR Academy of Sciences in Leningrad. From 1961 to 1969 by the invitation of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the Latvian SSR, Mikhail Voronkov headed the Laboratory of Elementorganic Compounds at the Institute of Organic Synthesis in Riga. In 1970 Academicians M.A. Lavrent’ev and N.N. Vorozhtsov suggested him heading the Irkutsk Institute of Organic Chemistry, Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences and he accepted this offer and became the director of the Institute, its leader for a quarter century. Since 1995 he is a Scientific Adviser of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Head of the Laboratory of Elementorganic Compounds at the same Institute.

The concept of the Academician Voronkov’s School has been stimulating the great theoretical interest on organosilicone chemistry, and the chemistry of silicon analogs (organogermaniums and organotins), as well as the chemistry of new classes of sulfurorganic compounds that are the foundation for the developing practically important valuable materials: drugs of new generation, unique coatings, agriculture chemicals of different use and functions, new reagents and synthons for synthetic and fine organic and elementorganic chemistry.

Professor Academician M.G. Voronkov’s breadth of mind and his encyclopedic knowledge assured and provided with success the development of his school. Even more, it was successful because he taken after his teachers the great Russian Chemists A.E. Favorsky, N.D. Zelensky and V.N. Ipatiev, he was a disciple and follower of the traditions and fundamentals of these three largest chemical schools. Being the student first and second years of study, he conducted research under supervising of Professor S.A. Shchukarev and Professor assistant V.I. Egorova, devoted disciple of Academician A.E. Favorsky. Later he had a good fortune to work under the leadership of Professors of Moscow State University — Prof. Yu. K. Yuriev and Prof. R. Ya. Levina, they were Prof. N.D. Zelensky disciples, and Professor of the Leningrad State University B. N. Dolgov, the disciple of Prof. V. N. Ipatiev.

At the Leningrad University M.G. Voronkov investigated reactions of sulfur with organic compounds (1944 — 1948). These studies were continued at the Institute of Organic Synthesis, Latvian Academy of Sciences (1962-1970), and then from 1970 they were conducted and is still conducting in A.E. Favorsky Irkutsk Institute of (Organic) Chemistry, being one of the scientific area of his Irkutsk Scientific School. These studies led to the discovery of several previously unknown classes of organosulfur compounds and many new reactions, one of which (the interaction of sulfur with arylchloroalkanes and -alkenes) was named “the Voronkov’s reaction”.

The second main Scientific Field of Professor Voronkov’s School is the chemistry of organosilicon compounds. Basically, since 1948 the scientific interests of M.G. Voronkov have focused on this field. He was the first scientist worldwide to investigate heterolytic cleavage of the Si-O-Si group. For these studies he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Sciences (1961).

Pioneering investigations of biologically active silicon compounds in 60-th of the past century led to the discovery of substances with unique effects on living organisms, and thus, M.G. Voronkov created a new branch of silicon chemistry, namely bioorganosilicon chemistry. This chemistry has become one of the higher-priority of his School.

M.G. Voronkov’s fundamental studies in synthetic chemistry, physical chemistry, biology, and pharmacology of silatranes and other hypervalent silicon compounds (dragonoids, derivatives of azoles, amides, hydrazides of carboxylic acids, etc.) received worldwide recognition. For the research and developments in the chemistry of pentacoordinated silicon M. G. Voronkov was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 1997. From the middle of the 1970 his investigations of organic compounds of hypervalent silicon were carried on the scientists of many countries (the USA, Germany, France, Japan, Hungary, Poland, China, Israel, Mongolia, etc.).

The earliest hypervalent organosilicon compounds — silatranes turned out to be a new class of physiologically active substances that have already found many applications in agriculture and medicine. This data are summarized in the book of M.G. Voronkov and V.P. Baryshok “Silatranes in medicine and agriculture” (Novosibirsk, 2005; SD RAS publisher). Organosilicon compounds, possessed carcinostatic, sedative, immunomodulatory, immunosuppressive and growth regulating effects, were discovered due to successful studies of his School in field of bioorganosilicon chemistry. A series of unique drugs, having no analogs in the world medicine (feracryl, acyzolum, trecrezan, silocast, silimin, dibutyrin, cobazol, etc.), as well as bioactive organosilicon monomers for bioprotective organosilicon coatings (for protection of metal, optical glass, wood, paper, etc. surfaces), protecting such materials from biocorrosion and biofouling) had been developed under his leadership.

In the end of 1970s another new area of organosilicon chemistry — carbofunctional polyorganylsilsesquioxanes, — highly effective sorbents and ionexchangers and complex-forming agents had been successfully developed by the School. Some of them had been introduced into analytical practice to analyze noble metals in ores and minerals, as well as to detect the occurrence of mercury in the environment. On the basis of the sorbents the efficient cigarette filters for the purification of tobacco smoke from highly toxic and carcinogenic elements had been developed. A technique for the purification of waste etching solutions from hazardous metals had also been worked out using the sorbents. In recent years, the discovery of organosilicon monomers and polymers, having matallochromium properties, initiated development of New Generation “test-systems” for “test-methods” to detect “one by one” chemical elements, including those are highly toxic. Such methods are essential for analysis out of laboratory (outdoors), so they present the possibility to have fast response, when highly hazardous and toxic elements are discharged during native and anthropogenic disasters.

School studies laid down the foundations of new scientific areas, such as:

— polyfunctional elementoorganosilicon compounds, i.e. precursors of thin-layer structures and special and extra-hard coatings for modern technologies used in micro- and optoelectronic devices;

— polyunsaturated macrolinear and macrocyclic siliconhydrocarbons, carbosilane dendrimers, they are promising precursors of silicocarbide fibers and ceramics.

Voronkov’s School was the first to develop methods for low-temperature generation of compounds of hypovalent (three-coordinated) silicon, i.e. silanones.

The School of M.G. Voronkov comprehensively studied:

— reactivity of organosilicon compounds with Si-H bonds: hydrosilylation, dehydrocondensation and reduction reactions;

— chemistry of sulfur-containing organosilicon compounds and the chemistry of elementoorganosilicon compounds containing B, Al, Sn, Sb, P, As, Ti, V, Mo, etc. heteroatoms.

The School contribution in the field of organosilicon and elementoorganosilicon compounds had been summarized in seven monographs published in the USSR, United States and Great Britain. These include “Siloxane bond” (SD RAS publisher, Novosibirsk), and the fundamental three volume comprehensive and detailed monograph “Heterosiloxanes”, published both in Russian and in English.

The great part of the School research has been devoted to organogermanium and organotin compounds. Organylgermatranes — the chelate class of pentacoordinated organogermanium compounds has been discovered, and their physicochemical properties and biological activities have been investigated. Valuable contributions to the organotin chemistry have been made with compounds containing Sn-S bonds and hypervalent tin atoms. The homolytic addition reactions of alkenylstannanes as well as the possibility organotin compounds’ application in organic synthesis made their contribution in this field too.

New high-to-reach classes of organic compounds of sulfur e.g. sulfur-containing macroheterocycles, thioaldehydes and thioketones, α-halo-thioketones, α-halo-gem-dithiols, dithiirane derivatives, condensed heterocyclic systems, 1,2-dithiolene-3-thiones, etc., have been fundamentally studied by the scientists of the School.

M. G. Voronkov’s School considerable attention has been focused on the development of another reagents and synthons for organic and elementoorganic synthesis, first of them is trimethyliodsilane — effective silylating and iodinating agent, and the others are simplified alternative agents such as acyliodides (acetyl- and benzoyliodides), that are more accessible and cheap, but less studied as reactants. The latters, being iodinating, acylating and deoxygenating reagents open up broad possibilities for development of new, convenient and extremely simple methods to synthesize a diversity of organic and elementoorganic compounds such as alkyl-, vinyl- and acyliodides, acetylenic ketones, hydroiodides of lactams, organylsilanes and siloxanes substituted with acetoxy-group in silicon, triorganyliodsilanes, triorganyliodgermanes, etc. In recent years, the chemistry of α-iodo- and polyiodosubstituted ketones and thiones that are promising reagents for simple and effective synthesis methods had been studied in detail to obtain on their basis practically valuable organic and elementoorganic compounds.

All the studies of the School have been conducted employing quantum chemical calculations and all modern physicochemical methods for study of organic and elementoorganic compounds structures (IR, UV, Raman- and photoelectron spectroscopy, chromato-mass spectrometry, NMR, NQR, EPR, dielcometry, X-ray analysis, Kerr effect (QEO effect), calorimetry, polarography, and etc.) to interpret the peculiarities of their molecular and electronic structures. Particularly, during the pioneering, fundamental research of chlorinated organosilicon compounds by NQR-method the dependence of 35C1-frequency from electron substituents at the central atoms (C, Si and Ge), as well as from the length of polymethylene chain in aliphatic mono- and dichlorides have been found for the first time.

The works conducted by the School are widely cited throughout the international science literature. Prof. Academician M. Voronkov’s name entered in the Book of Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century (2000), and for his remarkable contribution to World Science M.G. Voronkov was awarded the A.N. Kost medal in 2006. Most of School’s pioneering research areas in chemistry of organic derivatives of tetra- , hypo- and hypervalent silicon have acquired the followers among scientists of our country and abroad, that illustrates the scientific significance of his School.

Important criteria for the viability of the School and the keystone for its further development and prosperity are the integration with academic and industrial research institutes, universities, specialized enterprises and organizations of the Russia and countries abroad, contacts and co-operations with Russian and foreign scientists in the framework of international and integration projects and contracts. Such researches have been carried out by INTAS project in chemistry of hypervalent silicon compounds, as well as by the Integration project with the Institute of Semiconductor Physics SB RAS (Irkutsk), Institute of Inorganic Chemistry SB RAS and the Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion SB RAS (Novosibirsk) for the study of multifunctional silicon elementoorganic compounds as synthons and reagents for microelectronic technologies. Investigations of biological activity of elementoorganic compounds were carried out by the School in cooperation with Institutes of Health Profile, such as Military Medical Academy (St. Petersburg), National Research Center for Hematology RAMS (Moscow), Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics SB RAMS, Institute of Reconstructive and Restorative Surgery ESSC SB RAMS (Irkutsk), Institute of clinical Immunology RAMS (Novosibirsk), and also with the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry SB RAS (Novosibirsk) and the Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and Biology SB RAS (Irkutsk). This integration allows to solve comprehensively many problems of the theoretical and practical use of silicone and other heteroatomic compounds, created by the School.

Extremely important criteria for the development of research School are rejuvenation and raising the level of competence and qualification of the research staff. This problem has been successfully solved by profound integration of the Institute with the local universities during many years, e.g. the integrations with the Irkutsk State University and Irkutsk National Technical University consist in the following:

— research education of undergraduate students: carrying out laboratory experiments and performing yearly projects under School staff supervision;

— bachelor’s professional training;

— conducting research for master degree promotion;

— postgraduate course for the most talented and successful graduate students;

— offering postdoctoral course for the most advanced and progressive Ph.D. students, promoted their Ph.D dissertations.

The Laboratory of Elementoorganic Compounds, viz. the School is permanently conducting postgraduate training courses for the Ph.D. students of the above Universities. Successful educational and research integration of the School with the Universities is due to the favorable combination of positions the professors of the Institute with the same at the Universities, so they can work as researches at the Institute and as teachers at the Universities. This policy encourages the development of research cognition and erudition among young people, stimulates the new coming of young professionals to the research staff of the School to intensify the research activity of the latter.

And finally, one of the most important objective of M.G. Voronkov School’s activity is the education of highly qualified specialists. More than 100 PhD theses have been defended under M.G. Voronkov’s supervision, among his students there are 30 Doctors of Sciences (Dr. Sci., habilitated), 20 of them are the members of his Irkutsk School. Here are the names of his bona fide collaborators with the Dr. Sci degree, his followers, who worked or is still working within the walls of the A.E. Favorsky Irkutsk Institute of Chemistry, Siberian Division of Russian Academy of Sciences: S.V. Basenko, V.P. Baryshok, N.N. Vlasova, L.I. Kopylova, R.G. Mirskov, V.B. Pukhnarevich, Yu.N. Pozhidaev, V.I. Rakhlin, V.F. Sidorkin, L.V. Timokhina, O.M. Trofimova, N.F. Chernov, V.P. Feshin, L.G. Shagun. Really, the School of Professor Academician M.G. Voronkov is not bounded with only Irkutsk region team of scientists. The School has extended beyond the boarder of the Russian Federation including many scientists all over the world e.g. Ukraine, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, etc.

The key stone of Michail G. Voronkov’s School is the steady pursuing the main science credo of the Leader — " Scientific research should be based on three pillars: originality, fundamentality and practical orientation". Exactly, all the researches and advances of the scientists from Academician M.G. Voronkov’s School have been created and progressed according to his covenant.


1. Egorochkin A.N., Voronkov M.G. Electronic structure of organic compounds of silicon, germanium and tin. Novosibirsk: Publishing House of SB RAS. — 2000. — P.615.

2. Voronkov M.G., Baryshok V.P. Silatranes in medicine and agriculture. Novosibirsk: Publishing House of SB RAS. — 2005. — P.258.

3. Voronkov M.G., Trofimova O.M. Bolgova Yu.I., Chernov N.F. Organosilicon derivatives of nitrogen heterocycles containing a hypervalent silicon atom // Usp. Khim. — 2007. — V.76, № 9. — P.885-906.

4. Voronkov M.G., Trofimova O.M., Grebneva E.A., Chernov N.F., Abzaeva K.A. Phenyltrifluorosilane in elementoorganic and organic synthesis // J. Org. Chem. Rus. — 2011. — V.81, № 12. — P.1941-1962.

5. Voronkov M.G., Belyaeva V.V., Abzaeva K.A. Basicity of silatranes // Khim. Geterocikl. Soed. — 2011. — № 11. — P.1606-1616.

6. Mirskova A.N., Mirskov R.G., Adamovich S.N., Voronkov M.G. 2 Hydroxyetylamine salts of organylsulfanyl(sulfonyl)acetic acids that are new pharmacologically active compounds // Khimiya v interesakh ustoichivogo razvitiya. — 2011. — V.19. — P.467-478.

7. Genesis and evolution of organic compounds of germanium, tin and lead // Voronkov M.G., Abzaeva K.A., Fedorin A.Yu. // Editor B.A. Trofimov. — Novosibirsk: Academic Publishing House “Geo”, 2012. — P.214. ISBN: 978-5-904682-92-7.

8. Fundamentals of processes of chemical deposition of film and structures for nanoelectronics, Series “Integration projects SB RAS” // F.A. Kuznetsov , M.G. Voronkov, V.O. Borisov, I.K. Igumenov, V.V. Kaichev, V.G. Kesler, V.V. Kiriyenko, V.N. Kichay , M.L. Kosinova, V.V. Kriventsev, M.S. Lebedev, A.V. Lis, V.I. Rakhlin, I.P. Tsyrendorzhiyeva // Editor T.P. Smirnova. — Novosibirsk: Publishing House of SB RAS, 2012. ISBN: 978-5-7692-1272-7.

9. Vlasova N.N., Oborina E.N., Grigorieva O.Yu., Voronkov M.G. Organosilicon ion exchange and complexing sorbents // Usp. Khim. — 2013. — V. 82. — № 5. — P.449-464.

10. Voronkov M.G., Vlasova N.N., Vlasov A.V. Acyliodides in organic and elementoorganic synthesis // Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR Ser. Khim — 2013. — № 9. — P.1945-1961.

11. Zhilitskaya L.V., Yarosh N.O., Voronkov M.G. Polyunsaturated organosilicon and organogermanium dendrimers. Synthesis, design and properties. Lambert Academic Publishing (ISBN 978-3-659-40217-3). 2013. — P.3-74.




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