Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids as Coupling Partners in Carbon-Heteroatom Bond-Forming Reactions

Carboxylic acids are one of the most suitable starting materials for synthesis. They are readily available and therefore inexpensive, stable and non-toxic. Many carboxylic acids can be obtained directly from natural resources, thus avoiding the extraction of fossil resources, such as oil or natural gas, in the production of chemicals. Furthermore, renewable carboxylic acids derived from biomass have a wide structural diversity (e.g., amino acids, fatty acids and sugar acids), which not only holds greater potential for the synthesis of complex molecules, but also advances the development of green chemistry. In this context, this thesis aims at establishing new carbon-heteroatom coupling reactions with carboxylic acids as versatile coupling partners. These reactions are hitherto unknown, which not only fill some of the gaps in synthetic organic chemistry, but also provide solutions for the rapid assembly of bioactive molecules. In order to overcome the challenge of forming C(sp3)-heteroatom bonds, Chapters 4, 5 and 6 detail the development of photoredox/copper bi-catalytic systems and their applications in decarboxylative C(sp3)-N and C(sp3)-O coupling reactions. These methods are not only compatible with numerous functional groups, but also allow for rapid late-stage functionalization. More importantly, these methods can simplify the pathway for building drug core skeletons, highlighting the potential of these methods to expedite drug discovery. To bridge the disconnection in the synthesis of trifluoromethylthioesters from carboxylic acids, Chapter 7 describes the establishment of a "umpolung" strategy and its application in the conversion of carboxylic acids to trifluoromethylthioesters. This approach provides the most concise synthetic pathway to date for the synthesis of trifluoromethylthioesters, which not only accommodates a variety of functional groups, but also allows for the rapid functionalization of carboxylic acid-containing natural products and drug molecules. In summary, this thesis illustrates how novel catalytic methods can be used to convert inexpensive, readily available and environmentally benign aliphatic carboxylic acids into high value-added compounds.

Hu, Xile
Lausanne, EPFL

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 Record created 2020-09-25, last modified 2020-10-29

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