Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2019

Capstone Advisor

Nancy Totah

Honors Reader

Carlos Castaneda

Capstone Major

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Life Sciences


This project focuses on expanding the reaction scope of the ruthenium (Ru) catalyzed Alder-ene reaction with both exocyclic enol ethers and simple alkenes. Knowledge gained from these reactions may be applied to the development of efficient methods for the synthesis of both oxygen heterocycles and acyclic compounds that incorporate a 1,4-diene unit. Each of the two double bonds in the diene possesses different reactivity which increases the utility of these products as synthetic intermediates by allowing for greater versatility in synthesizing natural product targets. A breadth of alkyne and alkene couplings were attempted in this project via the Ru catalyzed Alder-ene reaction. The alkenes varied from an exocyclic enol ether to simple hydrocarbon structures, and the alkynes tested included both monosubstituted and disubstituted compounds ranging in complexity. Although the results were mixed, the scope of the reaction was expanded by trying new combinations of reagents. Most notably, several complex alkynes were successfully applied in this reaction for the first time.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Included in

Biochemistry Commons