With this new award, the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program supports the work of Professor Jin-Quan Yu of the Chemistry Department at Brandeis University. This research will focus on the investigation of catalytic and stereoselective C-H activation reactions. Synthetically useful directing groups will be developed to assist the C-H cleavage step. These directing groups will be readily converted to functional groups that are useful for synthetic transformations. Novel directing groups that will afford regioselectivity and stereoselectivity of the C-H cleavage process will be designed. A significant goal is to activate remote C-H bonds selectively via seven- and eight- membered cyclometallation processes. Mild and cost-effective catalytic systems to achieve C-H functionalization will be developed in order to allow the use of cheap and green oxidants in catalytic C-H activation reactions.
This project will employ a wide range of physical organic and inorganic tools to seek insights into these catalytic reactions. A number of undergraduate students will be involved in these studies as part of their thesis work and education. It is expected that regioselective and stereoselective functionalizations of simple carboxylic acid and amine derivatives will provide useful starting materials for synthesis and should have a major impact on areas such as material science and pharmaceutical synthesis.