Microwave-Assisted Bond Forming Reactions

Date of Thesis

Summer 2012


ABSTRACT FOR PART I: PHOSPHA-MICHAEL ADDITIONS TO ACTIVATED INTERNAL ALKENES: STERIC AND ELECTRONIC EFFECTS A method for the phospha-Michael addition of bis(4-methyl)phenyl phosphine oxide to activated internal alkenes has been developed. Michael acceptors including cinnamates, crotonates, chalcones, and internal alkenes containing multiple activating groups were all successfully utilized in this reaction. The reaction was fairly tolerant of electron-donating and electron-withdrawing substituents on the Michael acceptor, and moderate to excellent yields (49-96%) of the adducts were isolated. When steric bulk was increased by a second substituent on the -position of the Michael-acceptor the reaction was suppressed. This was usually overcome by adding a second activating substituent to the -position.

ABSTRACT FOR PART II: MICROWAVE-ASSISTED ARYLGOLD BOND FORMATION A microwave-assisted method was developed for the formation of arylgold complexes containing (2-Biphenyl)di-tert-butylphosphine (JohnPhos) as the supporting phosphine ligand. Arylboronic acids with increasingly bulky aromatic groups were screened to determine the steric limitations of the reaction. Arylgold complexes (JohnPhos)Au(p-methoxyphenyl), (JohnPhos)Au(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl), and (JohnPhos)Au(4-bromo-10-anthracene) were all synthesized by microwave irradiation at 70ºC in the presence of Cs2CO3 in either THF or iPrOH. Reactions performed with arylboronic acids containing unhindered ortho positions were carried out in THF. Arylboronic acids with substituents on the ortho position required iPrOH as the reaction solvent. Arylboronic acids with extreme steric hindrance on the ortho position of the aryl substituent, 2,4,6-triisopropylpphenylboronic acid, were unreactive. It was determined that increasing the irradiation temperature increased the formation of side products, therefore to promote conversion to the arylgold complex the duration of the reaction time was increased while maintaining a temperature of 70ºC. Arylgold complexes (JohnPhos)Au(p-methoxyphenyl), (JohnPhos)Au(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl), and (JohnPhos)Au(4-bromo-10-anthracene) were synthesized with moderate yields (40-69%).

Access Type

Masters Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Master of Science



First Advisor

Robert A. Stockland

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