He contributed to the advancement of the synthetic diversity of organophosphorus chemistry by embedding physical-organic concepts and by using quantum mechanical calculations as a guiding tool. He focused on unraveling the chemical properties of reactive intermediates and controlling their chemical reactivities. Most of his work concerned the carbene-like chemistry of low-valent phosphinidene complexes and their applications toward novel, strained, as well as dynamic organophosphorus compounds. For his research he used a uniquely integrated synthetic-computational approach. He also contributed to the synthesis of novel organophosphorus ligands for transition metal complexes, the synthesis of P-based frustrated Lewis pairs, revitalized the research on white phosphorus by direct functionalization to organophosphorus products, and advocated efforts in phosphorus sustainability.
He was also engaged very much in the problems arising from the heavy exploitation of phosphorus resources. Due to his activity many politicians became aware of the problem that the natural resources (phosphonate rock) are on the edge of depletion and that there is a need for regulation to circumvent catastrophic consequences.
Nowadays, the rich scientific works of Koop Lammertsma, intimately known to every scientist working in the area of phosphorus chemistry and beyond, and his talented students and followers successfully led to cooperation with chemists from around the world. Professor Lammertsma is a Member of the Steering Committee of the International Conferences on Phosphorus Chemistry (ICPC), an excellent organizer of scientific forums on phosphorus chemistry including the organization of the 19th ICPC in Rotterdam in 2012. Koop Lammertsma has (co-)authored over 250 scientific publications.
Since 1997 the Arbuzovs Prize for Organicphosphorus Chemistry is awarded every two years by the president of Tatarstan who also signed the charter. The ceremony was led by the deputy prime minister in the presence of the dean of the Karan Federal University, the director of the Federal Research Center “Kazan Scientifc Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences”, the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan, and other high officials of several research institutes. Also present were two representatives of the Dutch Ambassy in Moscow (Innovation and Trade).
Koop Lammertsma adds: “It was all very impressive. The Arbuzos Prize is the largest price in the field of Phosphor Chemistry. There is a strong sense of history present, with a large museum in the old Chemistry building where both Lenin and Tolstoi also attended their studies. I even got the chance to sit in the lecture halls. The field of Chemistry is very competitive with that in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsks. A competitiveness mostly unknown to us in the Netherlands.”