Studies of Soluble Polymer-supported Organocatalysts
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Polymer-supported reagents and catalysts have been extensively studied in the past few decades as they not only facilitate separation and isolation of products after reactions but also enable reuse of reagents/catalysts. In particular, chemistry using polymer-supported organocatalysts has the advantage of avoiding the use of sometimes toxic transition metals. Since organocatalysts are often used at high mol% loading in catalytic reactions, immobilizing organocatalysts on polymers for recycling and reusing makes chemistry using organocatalysts attractive in larger scale syntheses. Chapter II of this dissertation focuses on using variable temperature 31P NMR spectroscopy to study and compare the dynamic behavior of silver complexes prepared from soluble polymer-supported phosphines and electronically similar low molecular weight phosphine ligands. The phosphine-silver complexes supported on terminally functionalized polyisobutylene (PIB) and poly(ethylene glycol) show similar kinetic behavior compared to their low molecular weight counterparts. However, the dynamic behavior of phosphine-silver complexes supported as pendent groups on a linear polystyrene is difficult to study because of significant line-broadening on 31P NMR spectra. Chapter III of this dissertation aims at examining the recyclability and reusability of PIB-supported phosphines as organocatalysts and reagents. PIB-supported alkyldiphenyl- and aryldiphenylphosphines were prepared and used as recyclable organocatalysts in addition and allylic amination reactions. The PIB-bound phosphines were useful reagents in aza-Wittig and Mitsunobu reactions. The PIB-bound phosphine oxides formed either from adventitious oxidation or during the course of reactions can be reduce to PIB-phosphines for reuse. Chapter IV of this dissertation describes preliminary studies on soluble polymer-supported N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) organocatalysts. PIB- and polyethylene oligomer (PE_Olig)-supported NHC adducts were synthesized and the corresponding polymer-supported NHC catalysts were generated in situ in lactide polymerization and phenyl isocyanate trimerization reactions. The PIB-bound NHC catalyst generated in situ was not recyclable in a lactide polymerization. However, PIB- and PEOlig-bound NHC precatalysts showed modest recyclability in lactide polymerization and phenyl isocyanate trimerizations.
Yang, Yun-Chin (2012). Studies of Soluble Polymer-supported Organocatalysts. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from