Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Friestad, Gregory K

First Committee Member

Wiemer, David F

Second Committee Member

Pigge, Chris

Third Committee Member

Gillan, Edward

Fourth Committee Member

Olivo, Horacio F


Chiral alpha-branched amines are common substructures of bioactive synthetic targets such as alkaloids and amino acids. Direct asymmetric amine synthesis by addition to the C=N bond of carbonyl imino derivatives is promising and efficient to introduce the stereogenic center and carbon-carbon bond in one step. Furthermore, disconnection of either C-C bond at the amine stereogenic center would be the most versatile method to achieve this objective; we could make the choice depending on the different synthetic strategies, such as the availability of precursors and the presence of complicating structural features.

In our group, we disclosed that manganese carbonyl mediates stereoselective photolytic radical addition of alkyl iodides to chiral imino acceptors, which is a powerful tool to form a new C-C bond and generate a chiral center. Qualitative mechanistic studies confirm the importance of free radicals, imply that this is a nonchain (or short chain length) free-radical process, and reveal that organomanganese compounds are not a viable source of alkyl radical for the addition reactions under the conditions in our lab. In my thesis, we have extended the application of our methodology.

At the beginning of my research, our Mn-mediated addition methodology was first applied to accomplish the couplings of iodides and ketone N-acylhydrazones, generating quaternary carbon stereocenters and offering access to a variety of alpha-alkylated alanine analogs. These radical additions complement enolate alkylation methodologies, as they occur under nonbasic conditions and permit introduction of both primary and secondary alkyl groups with relative ease. The versatility with respect to the iodide is a distinguishing feature of the Mn-mediated coupling that foreshadows application to more complex targets.

Secondly, a Mn-mediated radical-ionic annulation strategy was validated as a synthetic route to quinine. Intermolecular radical addition to C=N bonds has rarely been applied as a strategic bond construction in natural product synthesis; this synthesis of quinine offers the strongest demonstration yet of the utility of such reactions in application toward complex multifunctional targets.


alkaloids, Amino Acids, N-acylhydrazones, radical addition, synthetic quinine


xii, 241 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-148).


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Copyright © 2011 An Ji

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