Synthesis of ABn Constitutional Isomeric Dendritic Building Blocks Using Air-Stable Nickel Catalyst




Professor of Chemistry

Project Summary

In this experiment, using nickel as a catalyst, ABn constitutional isomeric dendritic building blocks for self-assembling dendrons were synthesized. Those building blocks are both symmetric and nonsymmetric; nonsymmetric building blocks were protected and deprotected by benzyl group in order to preferentially cross-couple certain positions. Both symmetric and nonsymmetric building blocks were synthesized via Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction using mesylates and boronic ester/acid as starting materials. Furthermore, apex and peripheral groups of the synthesized dendritic building blocks were varied in order to determine the following effect in the self-assembly. Those products were then characterized by collecting MALDI-TOF data and melting points. These building blocks can be used in various different fields, such as pharmacology and the synthesis of the supramolecule and macromolecule.

By working in Percec lab, I have learned various new skills and experiments. Silica gel column chromatography was one of the processes that I used most frequently to purify the synthesized products. This purification method requires patience because it can take up to 7 or 8 hours, depending on the product and its scale. Even though it was hard to stand in front of the hood for long period of time, I have learned to wait patiently for the better separation of the product. Furthermore, I also acquired some small tips and skills in conducting experiments that made my lab life much easier. But most importantly, I could experience the advantages and disadvantages of working in the lab. This opportunity provided me the second-hand experience of a researcher, guiding me to decide what I want to do after I graduate.