Purdue University Graduate School
Templated Dissertation.pdf (6.5 MB)

Synthesis and Characterization of High and Low Valent Uranium Nitrogen Complexes and Copper Catalyzed Cross-Coupling Reactions of Brominated Compounds

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posted on 2019-01-16, 15:40 authored by Kristen E. GettysKristen E. Gettys

It is well-known that f-block elements can exhibit coordination modes which surpass those of the transition metals. With uranyl and uranium bis(imido) complexes a strong preference is shown for the oxo or imido ligands in the trans- position; a phenomenon which is known as the inverse trans- influence which is unique to high valent actinides. However, when a third imido is added to the complex, a decrease in bond order occurs and this preference is diminished. Through the synthesis of several novel coordination complexes of tris(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imido uranium [U(NDipp)3] with a variety of ligands, we were able to analyze the energy differentials between bonding modes in both the solution and solid state. Furthermore, density functional theory calculations were employed to model the energetic preferences between these geometries. The combination of analyses gives rise to the observation that the orientation of the imido substituents is fluxional depending on the rigidity of the supporting ligands, and oftentimes exhibits low energetic barriers for the formation of different conformers.

Uranium tris(imido) species bearing trans-imidos are desirable synthons as they can be used to mimic reactivity of more complicated uranium oxide polymeric systems. Such systems are advantageous as they are easily soluble in organic solvents, making them amenable to standard characterization methods and ligand substitution strategies. Our group has previously shown that uranium tris(imidos), easily synthesized from [(MesPDIMe)U(THF)]2 and various azides, feature axial imido substituents exhibiting differing bond characteristics than the adjacent equatorial imido substituent. The aim of this work is to show that multiple analogues of mixed imido products can be formed from either the aforementioned dimer or stable tris(imido) synthons by exploiting reactivity differences between the axial and equatorial positions.

Presented herein are novel copper-​catalyzed ring opening reactions of cyclopropanols and various electrophiles to synthesize a variety of beta-​functionalized ketones. The reactions feature mild conditions and tolerates a wide selection of functional groups leading to complex products which can be used in the synthesis of bioactive molecules.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Suzanne Bart

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Mark Lipton

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Christopher Uyeda

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Paul Wenthold

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