Bimetallic Ni-Cu catalysis for C-N coupling

Name: Runze MAO
Institution: EPFL
Start Date: 1/7/2016 Return
Supervisors: Prof dr.¬†Xile¬†Hu  

Catalytic C-N cross coupling of aryl electrophiles (halides and pseudo halides) is one of the most important and practiced reactions in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry because numerous small molecule drugs, agrochemicals, and organic materials contain at least one amine group. Here, Pd-catalysis is not cost-effective due to the high cost of Pd salts and the tailored-made phosphine or carbene ligands, while the scope of Cu catalysis is limited to activated and more expensive aryl electrophiles such as bromides and iodides. The objective of this project is to develop bimetallic Ni-Cu catalysis for C-N coupling of less activated aryl chlorides. The Ni catalyst is expected to activate aryl chlorides, even electron-rich ones; the Cu catalyst is expected to activate the amine and deliver it to Ni for the overall coupling. The bimetallic catalysis not only has a cost advantage compared to Pd catalysis, it is expected to be more efficient for the coupling of less nucleophilic amines such as amide and urea derivatives for which Pd catalysis is inefficient.