Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Chemistry

Major Professor

Jon C. Antilla, Ph.D.

Keywords

Organocatalysis, Enantioselective catalysis, Aza-Friedel-Crafts, Aminal, Imines

Abstract

The development of enantioselective reaction methodology has been at the forefront of research in both academic and industrial research laboratories due to the importance of chiral molecules in biological systems. An emerging area of research in the development of enantioselective reaction methodology has been the development of organocatalytic reactions. Organocatalysis, the use of small, chiral organic molecules as catalysts, has the advantage over traditional Lewis acid catalysis in that the reactions in general produce less toxic by-products. One recent breakthrough in the development of enantioselective methodology has been the development of chiral phosphoric acids as organocatalysts. Chiral phosphoric acids have been shown to be excellent catalysts for a wide variety of reactions. In this thesis chiral phosphoric acid-catalyzed enantioselective reaction methodologies have been developed for the addition of sulfonamides and indoles to imines.

The development of Bronsted acid-catalyzed amidation of imines allows for an expedient route for the synthesis of N,N-aminals, which have been incorporated into a wide variety of biologically active compounds. Initial studies were undertaken to determine the practicality of a Bronsted acid-catalyzed method for the addition of amides to N-Boc protected imines. Over 20 achiral Bronsted acids were screened, and it was found that phenylphosphinic acid and trifluoromethanesulfinimide were both excellent catalysts for the addition of amides to a variety of imines giving the respective products in excellent yield. The methodology was extended to the development of an enantioselective method for the addition of sulfonamides to imines. It was found that a chiral phosphoric acid derived from the VAPOL ligand was suitable for this purpose.

The developed methodology is capable of tolerating a wide variety of functional groups allowing for the preparation of the N, N-aminal products in excellent yield and enantioselectivities. An enantioselective phosphoric acid-catalyzed aza-Friedel-Crafts reaction between N-benzylindoles derivatives and N-benzoyl protected imines has been developed. A catalyst derived from the BINOL backbone was found to be the optimum catalyst for the enantioselective transformation. The developed methodology was capable of tolerating a wide variety of functional groups and provides an expedient route for the synthesis of chiral 3-indolylmethanamines.

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