Spring 2012 Biomedical Seminar Series
May 25, 2012
Synthetic and Mechanistic Studies of Catalytic Systems
Dr. Anna Wenzel
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Keck Science Department, The Claremont Colleges
Abstract. Several vignettes of current research in my laboratory will be discussed: Modified Aryldiols for Organocatalysis and Gold Catalysis. There is a growing demand for mild, selective, and sustainable synthetic routes for the preparation of organic compounds. In particular, both organocatalysts and gold catalysts have the potential to fulfill this role. Efforts in the group to prepare new catalysts for application to hydroamination, SN1 reactions, and others will be discussed. The incorporation of microwave chemistry has played a crucial role in the advancement of these systems. Physical-Organic Studies into the Mechanism of Olefin Metathesis. Ruthenium(IV) metallacycles derived from various alkenes have been prepared. These metallacycles represent some of the first observed examples of substituted ruthenacyclobutanes, and offer important information regarding the preferred stereochemical orientation about metathesis intermediates. In addition, new methods for generating ruthenacyclobutanes from readily available catalysts has been achieved. From these studies, a greater understanding of the nature of reaction propagation and the overall mechanism of olefin metathesis has been attained.