Purdue University Graduate School
Sudipta Pal.pdf (13.95 MB)

Nickel Catalyzed Cycloaddition Reactions: Alkyne Cyclotrimerizations and Reductive Vinylidene Transfer Reactions

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posted on 2021-01-14, 18:35 authored by Sudipta PalSudipta Pal
The advent of transition metal catalysis has greatly expanded the scope of viable cycloaddition reactions, allowing for the direct synthesis of highly functionalized and complex biologically active compounds. By manipulating various aspects of catalyst structure, including the supporting ligands and the central metal, the function of a catalyst can be modified. In this context, the catalytic properties of dinuclear complexes have not been greatly explored in cycloaddition reactions. Our research has focused on studying the catalytic properties of dinuclear complexes in cycloaddition reactions. Comparative studies between dinuclear and mononuclear Ni-complexes led us to discover and develop an efficient route to synthesize 1,2,4-trisubstituted benzene derivatives from terminal alkynes. The key organometallic intermediates in this process were isolated, and computational studies were performed to unravel a novel bimetallic mechanism for alkyne cyclotrimerizations. As an extension of this study, we have found that the dinuclear catalyst is capable of catalyzing the methylenecyclopropanation of olefins. The reaction uses 1,1-dichloroalkene as a vinylidene precursor along with Zn as a stoichiometric reductant. A wide range of monosubstituted terminal alkenes and relatively unhindered internal alkenes are viable substrates. Furthermore, to understand the mechanism of vinylidene transfer, various stoichiometric and stereochemical experiments were performed. Furthermore, we discovered that mononuclear and dinuclear Ni-complexes are highly efficient in achieving vinylidene insertions into Si–H bonds to synthesize Si-containing heterocyclic molecules. Ongoing efforts are directed toward optimizing the reaction conditions and elucidating the substrate scope of the reaction.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Christopher Uyeda

Additional Committee Member 2

Chengde Mao

Additional Committee Member 3

Suzanne Bart

Additional Committee Member 4

Mingji Dai