Studying reaction mechanisms is important for understanding how reactions take place, assisting reaction optimization (for example, getting better reaction yields), and guiding design of new reactions and catalysts. In this lecture, the speaker will show the above-mentioned three aspects originating from reaction mechanism studies. The first part of this lecture will focus on computational and experimental investigation of reaction mechanisms of several organic reactions involving proton shifts of in situ generated (formal) carbanions. Some guiding principles will be given to analyze when and how the proton shift processes need the catalysis of water (or other proton sources). In the second part, several mechanism-study-inspired rhodium catalyzed cycloaddition reactions such as [5+2+1], [7+1], [5+2], [3+2+1], [3+2] reactions will be presented. Also applications of [5+2+1] and [3+2+1] reactions in natural product synthesis will be briefly touched.
About the speaker
Prof. Yu Zhixiang received his PhD in Computational Chemistry from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2001. He then furthered his postdoctoral research in University of California, Los Angeles and moved to Peking University in 2004. He is now the Chang-Jiang Professor in the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering at Peking University.
Prof. Yu’s research focuses on using both computational chemistry and organic synthesis to advance organic chemistry in the three major research areas in organic chemistry including: 1. Developing theories and understanding reaction mechanisms; 2. Discovering and developing new reactions and catalysts for ideal synthesis; and 3. Designing and synthesizing functional molecules to address problems in sciences such as medicine, biology, materials, agriculture, and environment.
Prof. Yu was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016 and awarded the Chang-Jiang Professorship by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2015. He also received the Bayer Investigator Award by Peking University (2018) and the Nankai University Lectureship on Organic Chemistry (2014).