Generating complexity by reductive electron transfer: asymmetric studies and cyclisation cascades

  • Sarah Lyons

Student thesis: Phd


Reductive electron transfer has been successfully utilized to facilitate the first enantioselective desymmetrisation of malonate derivatives. Selective monoreduction of cyclic 1,3-diesters through the combined use of SmI2-Et3N and chiral non-racemic diols has granted rapid access to enantioenriched β-hydroxy acids containing challenging quaternary centres - an abundant motif in many drug molecules.Unique radical anions generated from the single electron reduction of cyclic 1,3-diesters have been exploited in cyclisation cascades. Capture of acyl-type radical anions by both alkene and alkyne acceptors have permitted the construction of complex bicyclic architectures in a single synthetic operation. The reductive cyclisation cascade of lactones has also been demonstrated, using SmI2-H2O to achieve a challenging domino 5-exo-trig/6-exo-trig cyclisation event. This process generates highly decorated carbo[5.4.0]bicyclic scaffolds with complete diastereocontrol.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Procter (Supervisor)


  • samarium diiodide
  • asymmetric desymmetrisation
  • radical chemistry
  • single electron transfer
  • organic synthesis

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