Mechanistic studies of unusual Morita-Baylis-Hillman reactions

Nyoni, Dubekile (2011) Mechanistic studies of unusual Morita-Baylis-Hillman reactions. PhD thesis, Rhodes University.




This study has focussed on the application of synthetic, kinetic and exploratory theoretical methods in elucidating the reaction mechanisms of four Morita-Baylis-Hillman (MBH) type reactions, viz, i) the reactions of the disulfide 2,2'-dithiodibenzaldehyde with various activated alkenes in the presence of DBU and Ph₃P, ii) the reactions of chromone-3-carbaldehydes with MVK, iii) the reactions of chromone-2-carbaldehydes with acrylonitrile and iv) with methyl acrylate. Attention has also been given to the origin of the observed regioselectivity in Michaelis-Arbuzov reactions of 3-(halomethyl)coumarins. Cleavage of the sulfur-sulfur bond of aryl and heteroaryl disulfides by the nitrogen nucleophile DBU has been demonstrated, and a dramatic increase in the rate of tandem MBH and disulfide cleavage reactions of 2,2'-dithiodibenzaldehyde with the activated alkenes, MVK, EVK, acrylonitrile, methyl acrylate and tert-butyl acrylate has been achieved through the use of the dual organo-catalyst system, DBU-Ph₃P – an improvement accompanied by an increase in the yields of the isolated products. Detailed NMR-based kinetic studies have been conducted on the DBU-catalysed reactions of 2,2'-dithiodibenzaldehyde with MVK and methyl acrylate, and a theoretical kinetic model has been developed and complementary computational studies using Gaussian 03, at the DFT-B3LYP/6-31G(d) level of theory have provided valuable insights into the mechanism of these complex transformations. Reactions of chromone-3-carbaldehydes with MVK to afford chromone dimers and tricyclic products have been repeated, and a novel, intermediate MBH adduct has been isolated. The mechanisms of the competing pathways have been elucidated by DFT calculations and the development of a detailed theoretical kinetic model has ensued. Unusual transformations in MBH-type reactions of chromone-2-carbaldehydes with acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate have been explored and the structures of the unexpected products have been established using 1- and 2-D NMR, HRMS and X-ray crystallographic techniques. Attention has also been given to the synthesis of 3-(halomethyl)coumarins via the MBH reaction, and their subsequent Michaelis-Arbuzov reactions with triethyl phosphite. An exploratory study of the kinetics of the phosphonation reaction has been undertaken and the regio-selectivity of nucleophilic attack at the 4- and 1'-positions in the 3-chloro- and 3-(iodomethyl)coumarins has been investigated by calculating Mulliken charges, LUMO surfaces and Fukui condensed local softness functions.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chemical reactions, Benzaldehyde, Acrylonitrile, Methyl acrylate, Coumarins
Subjects:Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Chemistry
Supervisors:Kaye, Perry T. and Lobb, Kevin A.
ID Code:2919
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:31 May 2012 14:01
Last Modified:31 May 2012 14:01
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