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Exploring new control processes for efficient synthesis using gold catalysis.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Davies
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The synthesis of complex molecules underpins our quality of life. Access to nitrogen heterocycles is particularly important as they are ubiquitous across biological systems, the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors and materials chemistry. Synthesis of these nitrogen heterocycles is often difficult and requires long sequences. In addition to the inefficiency and waste-generation that results, such approaches limit the diversity of structural and functional modifications that can be introduced, and hence limits the potential of their wider application.

Gold- (and other pi-acid-) catalysed reactions of alkynes have led to the discovery of numerous transformations that take simple precursors through complexity-increasing transformations to access desirable structural motifs in a highly efficient manner. Intermolecular reactions are in principle the most convergent and flexible approaches, but controlling them presents a substantial challenge, not least in limiting formation of regioisomers.

This project will explore the potential from a recent discovery in the Davies group of a new mode of control in intermolecular reactions. Through study of this effect in convergent and complexity-increasing catalytic nitrogen heterocycle formations, we will seek deep understanding of this control process, the factors affecting it and its wider potential in synthesis.

The doctoral researcher on this project will employ and develop expertise in reaction and reagent development, optimisation and structure-reactivity relationships, and mechanistic studies across organic and organometallic synthesis.

The project will build upon a major programme of research in the Davies group. We have extensive experience in discovering and developing new methods based on the use of gold catalysis. We introduced the concept of nucleophilic nitrenoids for previously unfeasible annulation reactions, which we and other groups internationally have since used to develop a wide range of effcieint new transformations.
The successful candidate would join an international team of researchers exploring aspects of catalysis and reactivity for molecular synthesis. We collaborate with the pharmaceutical and associated industries, in addition to academic collaborations.
See https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/DaviesGroup for further information.

The candidate should possess, or be on course to achieve, a good (1st or high 2.1 UK or equivalent) MSci/MChem degree in chemistry alongside previous research experience related to synthetic chemistry.
The candidate should have a keen interest in catalysis and molecular synthesis, be self-motivated, and enjoy working effectively both independently and as part of a research team.

The University of Birmingham was founded in 1900 on an anti-discrimination ethos accepting men and women on an equal basis. Today, as a community of over 150 nationalities in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, we remain committed to promoting equality, diversity and fairness irrespective of age, disability, gender, pregnancy or marital status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Applications must be made through the university’s on-line application system https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/chemistry/chemistry-phd.aspx#CourseDetailsTab. Your application should include a cover letter summarising your research interests and suitability for the position, a curriculum vitae, and the contact details of two referees.

Funding Notes

This position is offered as part of an open-call in competition against other projects to award a supported studentship that will pay full tuition fees at UK Research Councils UK/EU fee level and an annual tax-free doctoral stipend at UK Research Councils UK/EU rates (£15,009 for 2019/20).

Interested candidates can contact Paul at [Email Address Removed] with a copy of their CV. Full applications should be made through the online Graduate School admissions system.

References

For recent representative publications in related areas:
Alkynyl thioethers in gold-catalysed annulations to form oxazoles, R. Jannapu Reddy, M. P. Ball-Jones, P. W. Davies,* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 13310-13313.
Synthesis of N-Acyl Pyridinium-N-Aminides and Their Conversion to 4-Aminooxazoles via a Gold-Catalyzed Formal (3+2)-Dipolar Cycloaddition, M. P. Ball-Jones, P. W. Davies,* Org. Synth. 2018, 95, 112-126.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.00

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