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Organic Synthesis & Organometallics

The University of Oregon Summer Organic Synthesis & Organometallics Program is an intensive three-term integrated course of study to introduce students to advanced concepts, reactions, and techniques in contemporary organic chemistry. Students will study important organic reactions, in formal coursework and by performing representative examples of them in the laboratory. As part of their training, students will learn essential concepts and skills to be fully effective in the organic laboratory.

Course Outline

The summer Organic Synthesis & Organometallics program contains three intensive courses (12 credits) starting in late June and finishing in early September.

Organometallics in Organic Synthesis

The course begins with an historical perspective and moves quickly into the heart of organometallics in organic synthesis. The fundamentals of organotransition metal chemistry are elucidated before moving into the elementary organometallic reactions. Simple catalytic cycles are then introduced and discussed in depth. Finally, all this is brought together in applications to organic synthesis.

Synthetically Important Organic Reactions

Each day will start off with a lecture describing important aspects of the reaction of the day. Usually there will be several different methods to accomplish each type of reaction. The different methods will be compared in lecture. In the lab that follows the lecture, students will break up into small teams. Each team will run one or more reactions, with different teams running different reactions. Subsequently, the results of the different teams and the different reactions will be presented, discussed and compared.

Advanced Organic Synthesis

Focus is on multi-step synthesis of diverse target molecules. Projects are driven by the needs of our industrial partners and may include synthesis of the following types of molecules:

  • chiral ligands for use in asymmetric catalysis
  • dendrimers
  • liquid crystals
  • fluorescent molecules
  • molecular switches
  • natural products
  • molecules with nonlinear optical properties
  • pharmaceuticals
  • new specialized ligands for improved cross coupling reactions
  • molecules that can be used to make sensors
  • molecules that self-assemble to form supramolecular structures

Michael M. Haley, Professor of Chemistry. B.A., Rice University, 1987. Ph.D., Rice University, 1991. Research Interests: Organic, Organometallic, Materials Chemistry.

Kenneth Doxsee, Professor of Chemistry. B.S., Stanford University, 1978. M.S., Stanford University, 1979 (James P. Collman). Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1983. Research Interests: Green Chemistry, Phase- and Shape-Selective Assembly of Solid-State Materials, Ion-Selective Binding Agents.

Shih-yuan Liu, Assistant Professor, B.S., Vienna University of Technology, 1997. Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003. Research Interests: Creation of novel molecules with interesting functions and properties.