Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Nu14Mig (Generation and Application of Nucleophilic Allylmetal Species by Catalytic 1,4-Metal Migration)
Reporting period: 2015-06-11 to 2017-06-10
The original objectives of this project were to:
(a) Define the scope and limitations of this method in producing a wide range of cyclic compounds.
(b) Develop variants of these reactions that are able to give products selectively as a single enantiomer (which is defined as a non-superimposable mirror-image form). The ability to produce compounds as single enantiomers is very important because the exact function of compounds within biological systems (e.g. if the compounds are to be used as medicines) often depends upon which mirror image they exist in.
Ultimately, work in this project was not successful in the original area of study, but in a related area involving the generation of sulfur-based reactive species by visible light in conjunction with an iridium catalyst (Scheme 1). This new method was successful in producing a range of cyclic products in good yields under mild reaction conditions, and at the time of writing, this work is being finished up for publication.
Fortunately, however, a new discovery was made in a related area that also produced highly functionalized cyclic compounds (Scheme 1). Once again, this reaction is initiated by an addition to a carbon-carbon triple bond, followed by reaction of the resulting species with another group in the same molecule. However, the initial reactive agent is a sulfur species containing a single unpaired electron (this species is called a ""sulfonyl radical""). This reactive species is generated by the action of visible light in combination with an iridium-based catalyst, on a class of chemical reagent called ""sulfonyl azides"" and this new synthetic turned out to be versatile and relatively broad in scope.
Public Engagement and Outreach Activities:
The School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham conducted a Science fair to attract and create enthusiasm among schoolchildren towards science. The event took place on the mornings of Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th March, 2016, 10am-12pm. The Fellow actively participated in the fair, and demonstrated Alchemy experiments such as “turning copper 2p coins either to silver or to gold”. A total of 80 pupils actively participated in the sessions on each day, and the Fellow improved their general communication skills greatly by talking science with the general public/children.
At the time of writing, the results of this work are being prepared for publication as a full article. There are some final experiments which need to be completed, and this is being done by a colleague of the Fellow. We anticipate this will be completed in the next month or two, with manuscript submission to follow shortly thereafter. This work has also been presented in research seminars by the Host Scientist in industry and at a conference within the UK.
Training and Career Progression of the Fellow:
When the Fellowship began, the Fellow had expertise in carbohydrate chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, and crystal engineering rather than in the development of new organic reactions using transition metal catalysis, which is the main area of this project. Therefore, the Fellow had to learn new skills and gain new knowledge, but did this successfully. At the end of this project, the Fellow is now highly trained in this area. Currently, the Fellow is searching for a new postdoctoral/research scientist position to consolidate his skills in preparation for an independent research career."