• Experimental and Computational Studies on Copper and Hydrobenzoin Derivatives in Catalytic Asymmetric Reactions

      Belding, Lee; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2013-05-07)
      The use of theory to understand and facilitate catalytic enantioselective organic transformations involving copper and hydrobenzoin derivatives is reported. Section A details the use of theory to predict, facilitate, and understand a copper promoted amino oxygenation reaction reported by Chemler et al. Using Density Functional Theory (DFT), employing the hybrid B3LYP functional and a LanL2DZ/6-31G(d) basis set, the mechanistic details were studied on a N-tosyl-o-allylaniline and a [alpha]-methyl-[gamma]-alkenyl sulfonamide substrate. The results suggest the N-C bond formation proceeds via a cisaminocupration, and not through a radical-type mechanism. Additionally, the origin of diastereoselection observed with [alpha]-methyl-[gamma]-alkenyl sulfonamide arises from avoidance of unfavourable steric interactions between the methyl substituent and the N -protecting group. Section B details the computationally guided, experimental investigation of two hydrobenzoin derivatives as ligands/ catalysts, as well as the attempted synthesis of a third hydrobenzoin derivative. The bis-boronic acid derived from hydrobenzoin was successful as a Lewis acid catalyst in the Bignielli reaction and the Conia ene reaction, but provided only racemic products. The chiral diol derived from hydrobenzoin successfully increased the rate of the addition of diethyl zinc to benzaldehyde in the presence of titanium tetraisopropoxide, however poor enantioinduction was obseverved. Notably, the observed reactivity was successfully predicted by theoretical calculations.