This thesis describes the investigation of thiadiazolidine 1-oxides and structurally related compounds as ligands in palladium catalysis. The introduction will provide background information on subjects related to the work of the main project. Palladium catalysed cross couplings, namely the Heck and Tsuji-Trost reactions, will feature prominently and will be discussed in basic detail. A general outline of different classes of ligands used in palladium catalysis will also be put forward. Extraneous factors which affect catalyst reactivity will also be discussed, including the use of microwave irradiation and the effect of additives. Special attention is paid towards sulfur containing ligands. As their use has been relatively limited this will also include other areas of catalysis. Investigations into the synthesis of esermethole prompt a general background of methods of synthesising oxindoles and also examples of previous syntheses of the compound.
The second chapter begins by describing the initial exploratory work, the testing of a thiadiazolidine 1-oxide compound as a ligand for the Heck reaction. Aryl iodides are successfully coupled to a range of styrenes and α,β-unsaturated esters in excellent yields under microwave conditions. Aryl bromides are also successfully coupled after some optimisation. In many cases the presence of tetrabutylammonium bromide is required to prevent shattering of the sealed microwave vial.
A range of differently substituted thiadiazolidine 1-oxides were synthesised in order to establish a pattern of reactivity based on steric and electronic factors. Structurally related chiral compounds were also synthesised, including the first reported enantiomerically pure thiadiazol-3-one 1-oxide and thiatriaza-indene 3-oxide systems chiral at the sulfur atom.
The synthesis of oxindoles using palladium mediated and non-catalytic chemistry was also investigated. Investigations into the synthesis of esermethole were undertaken; the key stereoinducing reaction, the decarboxylative asymmetric allyic alkylation reaction, achieved a 46% ee. A formal synthesis of esermethole was outlined in 8 steps from commercially available material.
The third chapter is the experimental section and is dedicated to the methods of synthesis and characterization of the compounds mentioned in the previous chapter.
X-ray reports regarding the crystallographic representation of the structures presented in chapter two are provided in appendix A.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.