Synthesis of tetrahydroisoquinoline (TIQ) ligands and their applications in ayymmetric catalysis.
A series of 88 novel tetrahydroisoquinoline (TIQ) compounds have been synthesised for applications in asymmetric catalysis. Several chiral TIQ ligands, possessing N,O and N,N donor atoms, have been prepared and evaluated for the catalytic asymmetric transfer hydrogenation (ATH) of pro-chiral ketones. The highest selectivity obtained for the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of acetophenone with the N,O donor atom ligands was >99 % ee at low temperatures in iso-propanol with [Ru(p-cymene)Cl2]2 as a pre-catalyst. The observed enantioselectivity was supported by theoretical calculations using the Jaguar interphase program (Paper I). An enantioselectivity of 70 % was obtained with the ligands possessing the N,N donor atoms with the observation that water played a significant role in the enantioselectivity of the ATH reaction of acetophenone (Paper II). An investigation into the usefulness of the TIQ scaffold with other donor atoms was also undertaken. A series of novel P,N oxazoline ligands were synthesised and coordinated to Iridium BArF. These complexes were screened as chiral catalysts for the high pressure asymmetric hydrogenation of unsymmetrical olefins. The reactions proceeded readily at ambient temperature and provided selectivities of up to >91 % ee with excellent conversion rates (>99 %) for the benchmark reactions. Based upon these favorable results, the ligands providing the best results were further screened on a variety of functionalized and unfunctionalised olefins (Paper III). The success of the TIQ backbone in ATH reactions prompted an investigation into its applications in carbon-carbon (C-C) bond forming reactions. The Henry (nitroaldol) reaction is an important C-C bond forming reaction with the chiral oxazoline class of ligands being widely utilised. A series of novel, chiral TIQ oxazoline ligands were synthesised and complexed to various metals (Cu, Sc, Co, Zn, Ni and Mn). These complexes were screened as chiral catalysts in the asymmetric Henry reaction. The highest enantioselectivity (>77 %) was obtained when Cu(OAc)2was employed as a pre-catalyst and iso-propanol as a solvent (Paper IV). The final chapter deals with carbon-sulphur bond formations facilitated by the conjugate addition of thioglycolate to various chalcones. A series of novel, chiral TIQ N-oxide ligands were synthesised and complexed to lanthanum. The complexes were screened for activity against the benchmark reaction and an enantioselectivity of 81 % was obtained.