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CO2 as a traceless directing group for catalytic meta C-H olefinations

CO2 as a traceless directing group for catalytic meta C-H olefinations


The development of methods for the transition metal-catalysed functionalization of C-H bonds is revolutionizing synthetic organic chemistry by providing tools to simplify and accelerate the synthesis and modification of a myriad of known and still unknown organic molecules including aromatic compounds. However, in these processes, the ability to discriminate between C-H bonds for subsequent transformation into other functional groups still remains as a major challenge. To date, much progress has been made on developing strategies for the ortho-functionalization of arenes, mainly through the derivatization of the substrates with directing groups. meta-Functionalization approaches, on the other hand, are extremely scarce despite eta-substitution is a widespread motive amongst biologically active molecules.
The research outlined in this proposal aims at developing a process that makes use of CO2 as an invisible directing group leading to an array of novel direct meta-functionalization methodologies. To do so, we envision a one-pot strategy involving a carboxylation ortho to an R group followed by a tandem CO2H directed ortho-functionalization/decarboxylation process that affords the desired meta-functionalized products and releases again the CO2 employed as the directing group.
The realisation of the objectives of this project will push forward the state-of-the art in the area of C-H bond activation by providing step economical access to molecules that are difficult to prepare via conventional multistep routes.




Oxford Road
M13 9pl Manchester

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 183 454,80

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 656841


Closed project

  • Start date

    1 April 2015

  • End date

    31 March 2017

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 183 454,80

  • EU contribution

    € 183 454,80

Coordinated by:


United Kingdom