Research Program

 

The primary goals of our research program are to develop novel organic and organometallic reactions, to gain mechanistic insights into these new reactions, and to apply them in medicinal and material chemistry. The following classes of organic reactions will be investigated in my research group.

 

Asymmetric Catalysis

Catalytic stereoselective carbon−carbon (C−C) and carbon−heteroatom (C−X) bond-forming reactions are of great interest to the field of synthetic organic chemistry. In particular, stereoselective carbene insertion reactions represent some of the most efficient approaches for the construction of new C−C and C−X bonds. My research group will focus on the development of enantioselective carbene insertion reactions into C−X and X−Y (X, Y = heteroatoms) bonds using chiral catalysts. In addition, reactions for the further transformation of the carbene insertion products will be developed and applied in more complex molecule synthesis settings.

 

Inert Bond Activation

The development of carbon−carbon bond-forming reactions has been one of the most extensively studied subjects in organic chemistry. In contrast, C−C bond cleavage reactions have been less intensively investigated. Considering that C−C bond cleavage processes are regularly used in carbohydrate metabolism and the oil industry, the discovery of new methods for C−C bond cleavage has enormous potential. Deeper insights into these processes can lead to direct modification of carbon skeletons, novel disconnections for complex molecule synthesis, and a better understanding of fundamental chemical bonds. In my research program, various aspects of C−C bond activation that occurs via insertion of a metal catalyst will be investigated.

 

Conjugated π-Systems

Compounds containing five-membered carbocycles ranging from cyclopentadiene to C20 fullerene possess interesting electronic and structural properties. Among such diverse π-conjugated systems, extended π-systems containing a pentalene unit are of special interest. Pentalene derivatives were first synthesized in 1912 and have since been investigated due to their unique structural and electronic properties. These polycyclic conjugated hydrocarbons possess five-membered rings and are expected to play an essential role in molecular electronic devices. My group will develop practical and efficient synthetic methods for the preparation of extended π-conjugated systems containing pentalene units and will study electronic and chemical properties of these pentalene-based molecules.