Université de Strasbourg

USIAS Fellows seminar - How to make complex molecules from simple materials

June 5, 2018
From 12:30 until 14:30
Salle Afrique, MISHA, 5 allée du Géneral Rouvillois, Strasbourg

By Gaëlle Blond, USIAS Fellow 2015.

How to make Complex Molecules from simple material: Metal-mediated catalysis, a Powerful Tool

The last century has witnessed a tremendous development of synthetic methods, enabling the syntheses of ever more complex target compounds. The quest for increasingly complex molecule synthesis has often resulted in important fundamental insight into selectivity principles, and in the development of new chemistry in order to reach the target.

The reduction of the number of steps in a synthesis process (step economy), as well as the maximization of the use of original atoms in the end product (atom economy) and the minimization of redox reactions (redox economy), are crucial factors for its feasibility, and a challenging frontier area of chemistry.

While most reactions allow for the formation of only one bond at a time, a particularly promising strategy to access complex molecules is to trigger domino reactions that convert simple starting materials into highly sophisticated targets by creating several bonds in a one-pot operation. This type of reaction allows the minimization of waste compared to stepwise transformations. Besides, the amount of solvents, reagents, adsorbents, and energy can be dramatically decreased.

Achieving complexity with brevity is indeed a key to ideal synthesis. Moreover, the use of transition metal-catalysed transformations as part of a domino process presents two main advantages: it considerably decreases the energy cost of the overall transformation and favors highly selective reactions due to the pre-organization of the reactive intermediates around the metallic center.

In this context, we have started a research program intended to develop new methodologies for the formation of carbon-carbon bond leading to unique types of polycyclic compounds. In the seminar, our recent results will be presented as an important step in pushing the frontiers of complexity molecule synthesis.


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