Organic Transformations and Catalysis

Catalytic reactions invariably involve the activation of inert bonds. Our primary interest is in such bond activation reactions, and to understand the reaction pathways through physical and spectroscopic measurements as well as computational studies. One example is the simple and direct route to iridacyclic aminocarbene complexes. The reaction pathway was investigated through labeling experiments and computational chemistry.

More recently, we investigated rhodium-catalysed alkyne hydroamination. Under slightly different reaction conditions, we found that the reaction proceeded to either a ketimine or a hydroquinoline. The relationship between the two catalytic cycles was also established.