Alcohols as Latent Alkylating Agents Using Photoredox Organocatalysis

Project: Research project

Project Details


PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Many pharmaceuticals, materials, and other chemicals important to modern society are procured by synthetic organic chemistry. The heart of this discipline is the construction of carbon?carbon bonds, yet reactions that achieve this goal often require undesirable starting materials or inefficient strategies. Alcohols are widely accessible compounds that are stable and minimally toxic, and would therefore be ideal reactants for many chemical transformations. The limited ability of modern technologies to engage alcohols, however, has severely restricted their direct use in these important reactions, particularly as latent alkylating agents. This proposal describes how the techniques of photoredox catalysis and organocatalysis, combined with a biologically-inspired chemical mechanism called spin-center shift, would enable the use of alcohols as alkylating agents in reactions that currently employ undesirable reagents or strategies. In particular, these respective reactions would produce versatile chiral compounds that are important synthons in pharmaceuticals, and ketones, which are also useful intermediates in the agrochemical, fragrance, and fine chemical industries. Furthermore, reaction conditions would be mild because visible light provides the driving force, and water would represent the only stoichiometric byproduct. Overall, the ability to employ alcohols directly as latent alkylating agents could improve the means by which a variety of important chemicals are accessed, which would impact public health as well as a number of other sectors that rely on fine chemicals.
Effective start/end date4/1/173/31/19


  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $56,694.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $59,038.00


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