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Title: Enantioselective synthesis and reactivity of benzylic fluorides
Author: Blessley, George Richard
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Benzylic fluorides are attractive target molecules for medicinal chemistry, agrochemicals and materials chemistry. The enantioselective synthesis of benzylic fluorides is challenging and few general methods exist. This thesis describes several approaches to the synthesis of benzylic fluoride targets, including enantioselective processes. Chapter 1: Reviews the properties, uses and synthetic approaches to fluorinated molecules, with a particular focus on benzylic fluorides and enantioselective syntheses. Chapter 2: Describes the fluorination cyclisation of prochiral indole precursors. The use of catalytic amounts of a bis-cinchona alkaloid gave good enantioselectivities for the cyclisation. Alcohol, tosylamine, amide and carbamate pendant nucleophiles all cyclised successfully to give quaternary benzylic fluorides in moderate yields and with enantioselectivities up to 92%. The substrate scope of the reaction is described, as well as methodology for deprotection of cyclised nitrogen nucleophiles. Chapter 3: Details an investigation of the Pd catalysed substitution of polycyclic benzylic fluorides by a range of nucleophiles and their relative reactivity in comparison to oxygen leaving groups. Modification of the methodology to enable reaction of monocyclic substrate substitution was enabled by the use of a protic solvent. Chemoselective reaction conditions were identified for selective reaction of Bn-F or Ar-Cl bonds and comparative reactivity studies were undertaken. The feasibility of Pd(0)/(II) catalysed nucleophilic C-F bond formation was examined. Chapter 4: The development of the defluorination methodology from Chapter 3 for secondary substrates is described. The stereochemical course of defluorination was probed, showing that displacement of fluoride is mechanistically similar to that of oxygen leaving groups. A kinetic resolution with a low selectivity was developed for access to enantioenriched benzylic fluorides.
Supervisor: Gouverneur, Veronique Sponsor: EPSRC ; GlaxoSmithKline
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Organic chemistry ; Organic synthesis ; Organometallic Chemistry ; Synthetic organic chemistry ; Catalysis ; fluorination ; organocatalysis ; kinetic resolution ; enantioselective synthesis ; palladium chemistry ; defluorination