New Tricks With Conjugated Polyenes

Seminar series
Organic Colloquium
Thu, Jun 13 5:00pm
Cram Conference Room – 3440 Mol Sci
Speaker Professor Michael S. Sherburn
Australian National University
Research School of Chemistry

“New Tricks With Conjugated Polyenes”

Abstract.  For many years, the dendralenes (branched oligo-alkenes) were thought to be too unstable to be synthetically useful.  We demonstrated that the perception was false: we were the first to prepare the dendralenes and we did so using standard laboratory equipment.  We recorded their spectroscopic, physical and chemical properties and discovered alternation in their behaviour – the first time such a property has been witnessed in a family of fundamental structures since the annulenes.  We have also demonstrated that dendralenes have the unique capacity to undergo diene-transmissive cycloadditions, spectacular processes that result in many new bonds being forged in a single operation.

         This presentation will demonstrate that the dendralenes represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to as yet un-prepared hydrocarbons with huge synthetic potential.  We will reveal new discoveries and efficient total synthesis applications involving polyenic systems.  This talk aims to convince you of two things: that fundamental hydrocarbon chemistry has significant potential for original discoveries; and that at least some of your assumptions about the instability of polyenes are wrong.