Samford University chemistry professor Dale Wilger and students Sydney Bottcher and Lauren Hutchinson co-authored an article published in the academic journal Synthesis. The research– resulting in the article Nickel-Catalyzed anti-Selective Alkyne Functionalization Reactions– was supported by a course release for Wilger funded by the Howard College Faculty Research and Scholarship Committee.
Wilger said Alkyne functionalization is used to synthesize alkenes, an important type of molecule present in medicines such as Tamoxifen and useful materials such as plastics. Historically, nearly all alkyne functionalization reactions have produced what is known as syn-selectivity, but in recent years catalysts containing nickel have demonstrated the ability to provide anti-selective alkyne functionalization reactions. “We reviewed these reactions and provided an analysis and discussion regarding the types of mechanisms that could explain these relatively unusual chemical transformations,” Wilger said. “We hope this knowledge will aid others in the discovery and invention of new anti-selective alkyne functionalization reactions.”