Theses Doctoral

Rhodium(III)-catalyzed Difunctionalization of Alkenes Initiated by Carbon–Hydrogen Bond Activation

Phipps, Erik Johann Thorngren

The direct conversion of carbon–hydrogen bonds into valuable carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds is a significant challenge to synthetic organic chemists. More than ever, chemists are employing Rh(III)-catalysts bearing cyclopentadienyl (Cp) ligands to transform otherwise inert C–H bonds. Furthermore, manipulating the sterics and electronics of the Cp ligand show significant impact on catalytic transformations. Our group has developed a library of CpˣRh(III)-precatalysts in hopes of enhancing known reactivity as well as discovering new C–H bond functionalizations.

We have previously reported that N-enoxyphthalimides are a unique one-carbon component for the cyclopropanation of activated alkenes. In an effort to expand the scope to accessible alkenes, we have found a number of symmetrical unactivated alkenes undergo [2+1] annulation to afford intriguing spirocyclic cyclopropanes.

Additionally, we have developed a Rh(III)-catalyzed diastereoselective [2+1] annulation onto allylic alcohols to furnish substituted cyclopropyl ketones. Notably, the traceless oxyphthalimide handle serves three functions: directing C–H activation, oxidation of Rh(III), and, collectively with the allylic alcohol, in directing cyclopropanation to control diastereoselectivity. Allylic alcohols are shown to be highly reactive olefin coupling partners leading to a directed diastereoselective cyclopropanation reaction, providing products not accessible by other routes.

Next, an artifact of previous cyclopropanation reactions leads to the formation of a Rh-π-allyl complex. Attempts at 1,1-carboamination of alkenes are made using alkenes and nitrenoid precursors toward the 3-component synthesis of allylic amines. Stoichiometric studies help elucidate the mechanism and challenges.

Lastly, efforts toward 1,2-carboamination of alkenes initiated by sp³ C–H bond activation are made with two different reactivity manifolds. Isolation of reaction intermediates are discussed as well as providing viable paths toward valuable products.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Rovis, Tomislav
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 11, 2021