Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Richard C. Larock


In this dissertation the scope and limitations of several electrophilic cyclization processes have been presented. In particular, electrophilic cyclization has been used for the synthesis of a variety of heterocycles, including benzo[b]furans, isochromenes, dihydroisoquinolines, isobenzofurans and coumestans. An unusual palladium migration has also been explored and applied to the synthesis of fluoren-9-ones;Chapter 1 describes the synthesis of 2,3-disubstituted benzo[b]furans by the palladium-catalyzed coupling and electrophilic cyclization of terminal alkynes. A highly chemoselective electrophilic cyclization has been achieved by carefully choosing the protecting group on the oxygen functionality. Various electrophiles, such as I2, Br2, PhSeCl and p-O2NC6H4SCl, can be used to introduce different functionalities into the desired cyclization products;Chapter 2 presents the synthesis of heterocycles by electrophilic cyclization reactions of acetylenic aldehydes, ketones and imines. The overall synthetic process involves the coupling of a terminal acetylene with o-iodoarenecarboxaldehydes or ketones by a palladium-catalyzed coupling reaction, followed by electrophilic cyclization with various electrophiles in the presence of proper nucleophiles. Oxygen- and nitrogen-containing heterocycles can be quickly assembled by this three component process in good to excellent yields;Chapter 3 describes the synthesis of coumestan and coumestrol by selective electrophilic cyclization, followed by palladium-catalyzed intramolecular carbonylation and lactonization. The biologically interesting coumestan system can be quickly constructed by this very efficient approach from common starting materials. The palladium-catalyzed reaction effects as both carbonylation and lactonization in one step;Chapter 4 examines the scope and synthetic utility of a 1,4-Pd through space migration. The synthesis of various fluoren-9-ones has been accomplished by the Pd-catalyzed intramolecular C-H activation of imines derived from 2-iodoaniline and biarylcarboxaldehydes. This methodology makes use of a novel 1,4-palladium migration from an aryl position to an imidoyl position to generate the key imidoyl palladium intermediate, which undergoes intramolecular arylation to produce imines of complex polycyclic compounds containing the fluoren-9-one core structure. Both electronic effects and steric effects have been investigated.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Dawei Yue



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

226 pages