Decarboxylative and direct functionalisations of aromatic compounds

  • Sangwon Seo

Student thesis: Phd


Aromatic rings are privileged structures found in a diverse range of natural and synthetic compounds, thus synthetic methods for their functionalisations are important in organic synthesis. Despite significant advancements made, especially in the field of transition metal catalysis, work still continues for the development of milder, more efficient, and more atom economical reactions. We describe here our efforts towards the development of decarboxylative/direct C(aryl)-N and C(aryl)-C bond forming reactions using aromatic carboxylic acids and unfunctionalised arenes as cheap and widely available aromatic sources.The investigations into copper-catalysed and copper/palladium-catalysed intermolecular and copper/silver/palladium-catalysed intramolecular decarboxylative amination of aromatic carboxylic acids are reported. A new approach to decarboxylation of benzoic acids is also described. The reaction uses silver (I) catalyst and peroxydisulfate salt to generate aryl radicals via oxidative decarboxylation. The applications of this approach in intra- and intermolecular decarboxylative C-H arylation, and protodecarboxylation are described. Also described is the development of silver-catalysed trifluoromethylation of simple arenes and heteroarenes. The reaction proceeds via radical trifluoromethylation using trimethyl(trifluoromethyl)silane as the trifluoromethyl radical source. This method has been applied to the trifluoromethylation of complex agrochemical molecules, proving its synthetic utility in late-stage functionalisation. Furthermore, we describe the exploitation of trifluoroacetate derivatives as cheap trifluoromethylating reagents in copper-mediated decarboxylative C-H trifluoromethylation of 2-phenylpyridine.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMichael Greaney (Supervisor) & Michael Turner (Supervisor)


  • Silver-catalysed reaction
  • Trifluoromethylation
  • Radical substitution reaction
  • Decarboxylative arylation
  • Protodecarboxylation

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