With this Award, the Chemical Synthesis Program of the NSF Division of Chemistry is supporting the research of Professor Joseph J. Topczewski of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. This research project is focusing on developing more efficient methods for organic synthesis. In this research, traditional starting materials are replaced with readily available, lower energy, safer, and less toxic carboxylic acids. These new synthetic methods are replacing prior reactions used in the synthesis of medicines, agrochemicals, and organic electronics. The broader impacts of this work include revitalizing and transforming undergraduate organic chemistry courses and bring a focus on advanced manufacturing method for the chemical industry. Furthermore, undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty are engaging the citizens of Minnesota through their Market Science program, which brings science fair-like demonstrations to local farmersâ€™ markets.
Professor Topczewski and his students are developing new synthetic methods for the decarboxylative cross-coupling and functionalization of (hetero)aryl carboxylic acids. This research focuses on the mechanistic elucidation of the reaction cycle, optimization of the ligand and metal complexes, expansion of the substrate scope, and the development of a broader array of functionalization reactions. Several metal complexes and mechanisms of decarboxylative coupling are being investigated. The broader impacts of this work include recruiting a diverse cohort of scientists to be trained as next generation leaders in the chemical community and promoting outreach through Market Science.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.