An electrochemical approach to selective oligosaccharide synthesis
This thesis describes investigations into the use of electrochemical oxidation as a method for the activation of glycosyl donors, and in particular the application of this technique to the selective activation of one electrochemically active glycoside over another. The synthesis of twenty eight electrochemically active monosaccharide donors, including thio-, seleno- and O-glycosides with varying protecting group patterns and anomeric substituents is described, together with the synthesis of three electrochemically active monosaccharides with the potential to act as both glycosyl donors and glycosyl acceptors. The electrochemical analysis of these monosaccharides is reported and gives a detailed insight into the effect of various factors on the oxidation potentials of the monosaccharide donors and allows some general conclusions to be drawn. In addition the analysis of six monosaccharides by cyclic voltammetry at scan rates of up to 25 000 Vs-1 allows their homogenous kinetics to be outrun and formal oxidation potentials obtained. Investigations into selective electrochemical glycosylations are reported, and the applicability of the analytical electrochemical studies to synthetic electrochemical reactions is demonstrated. Selective glycosylations are possible with selenoglycoside donors and either thio- or O-glycoside acceptors to give disaccharides. However the selective activation of selenoglycosides over thioglycosides is shown to be complicated by some underlying pathway for indiscriminate activation of both donor and acceptor. In contrast the use of an O-glycoside donor experiences no such problems. More detailed work on the underlying problems experienced with the thioglycoside acceptor was conducted, and the results are reported here. Investigations into electrochemical activation of the disaccharides are discussed, and the thioglycoside is shown to be easily activated to give a trisaccharide. At the time of writing this is believed to be the only electrochemically mediated trisaccharide synthesis reported in the literature. The O-glycoside however is shown to be inactive under the electrochemical oxidation conditions employed.