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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Synthetic and Mechanistic Studies of Transition Metal-Mediated Carbon-Nitrogen Bond Forming Reactions

  • Author(s): Strom, Alexandra Eve
  • Advisor(s): Hartwig, John F
  • et al.

The following dissertation discusses reactions for the formation of carbon-nitrogen bonds mediated by organotransition metal reagents and catalysts. Chapter 1 presents a synthetic method for the formal hydroamination of unactivated alkenes to form anti-Markovnikov primary and secondary amine products. This transformation is accomplished through the hydrozirconation and subsequent amination of alkenes. The method is then applied to the reaction of complex molecules to emphasize the functional group tolerance of these reactions.

Chapter 2 of this thesis comprises the synthesis and evaluation of a series of rhodium-phosphine hydroamination catalysts. These complexes are evaluated in a series of catalytic intramolecular Markovnikov hydroamination reactions. The mechanism of hydroamination catalyzed by the rhodium(I) complexes in this study was examined computationally, and the turnover-limiting step was elucidated. The difference in reactivity of electron-rich and electron-poor catalysts was compared to the computational results of a computational ligand screen, and it was found that the computational analysis of reaction intermediates overestimated the reactivity of electron-poor catalysts. The analysis of the catalysts in this study was expanded to include the binding preference of each ligand, compared to the unsubstituted ligand, which corrects for the disparity between observed reactivity and the calculated overall reaction barrier for electron-poor ligands. The ligand-binding preferences for new ligand structures were calculated, and it was found that ligands that were predicted to bind strongly to rhodium had improved reactivity in catalytic reactions.

Chapter 3 discusses the mechanistic study of the palladium-catalyzed aminocarbonylation of aryl halides with ammonia and CO to form primary benzamides. Conditions for reactions of aryl bromides, chlorides, and iodides are described, and the mechanism of reactions of aryl bromides was studied. The kinetic order in the concentration of aryl bromide was found to be first order, and the order in the pressure of CO was found to be inverse first order. These studies were complemented by DFT calculations on the mechanism of oxidative addition of aryl bromides. The products of oxidative addition, aroyl bromide palladium intermediates, were reacted with ammonia in the presence of additives to gain insight into the mechanism of release of product. The overall dependence on the rate of the catalytic reaction was found to be insensitive to excess ammonia, indicating that the overall turnover-limiting step of the reaction is during the oxidative addition step.

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