Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Chemistry and Biochemistry
347 Mellon Hall
Education:Ph.D., Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 2002
M.S., Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 1998
B.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1997
The addition of halogenated compounds to alkenes or alkynes through a radical process is one of the fundamental reactions in organic chemistry. It was first reported in the early 1940s in which halogenated methanes were directly added to olefinic bonds in the presence of radical initiators or light. Today, this reaction is known as the Kharasch addition or atom transfer radical addition (ATRA), and it is generally catalyzed by transition metal complexes.The principal reason for small participation of metal mediated atom transfer radical addition (ATRA) and cyclization (ATRC) reactions in complex molecule and natural product synthesis is the large amount of catalyst needed to achieve high selectivity towards the desired target compound. This obstacle causes serious problems in product separation and catalyst regeneration, making the process environmentally unfriendly and expensive. The main objective of our research is to overcome the drawbacks of metal catalyzed ATRA and ATRC reactions by utilizing reducing agents that enable significant reduction in the amount of metal catalyst. Our research bridges inorganic, organic and organometallic chemistry and aims to transform metal mediated ATRA and ATRC reactions into an environmentally friendly and inexpensive process.