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Organic Chemistry Seminar

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Noyes 153 (J. Holmes Sturdivant Lecture Hall)
Chirality and Light: Enantioselective Catalysis of Photochemical Reactions
Thorsten Bach, Professor Dr. of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Munich,

     [2+2] Photocycloaddition reactions belong undisputedly to the most important reaction classes in photochemistry.  The creation of up to four new stereogenic centers in a single step and the further use of the formed cyclobutane rings – either directly or after appropriate ring opening – are hallmarks of this powerful transformation.  In our group, we have studied two different approaches to achieve a catalytic enantioselective reaction course in [2+2] photocycloaddition reactions.  The first approach is based on a triplet energy transfer by hydrogen-bonding chiral catalysts, which in turn are derived from a previously described template successfully employed in the total synthesis of (+)-meloscine.  The second approach relies on chiral Lewis acids, which change the photophysical parameters of the substrate and allow a selective excitation in the chiral environment, which they provide.

     A chiral xanthone turned out to be an efficient organocatalyst providing good turnover (10 mol%) and high enantioselectivities (>90% ee) in [2+2] photocycloaddition reactions while a related chiral thioxanthone allowed for enantioselective reactions promoted by visible light.  Apart from this approach, we have also looked into the possibility of Lewis-acid mediated enantioselectivity in photochemical reactions.  Chiral Lewis acids were developed for [2+2] photocycloaddition reactions and are currently being further explored.

     The presentation discusses the background of the above-mentioned studies and provides the latest results of our research efforts in this area.

For more information, please contact Lynne Martinez by phone at 626-395-4004 or by email at [email protected].