Dr. Christopher Sandford

Prof. Rubén Martín

The Combination of Electrochemistry and Nickel Catalysis: New Bond-Forming Reactions on a Sustainable Platform

ICIQ profile

From 01/05/2018 to

30/04/2021

ElectroNick

Sustainable routes towards the formation of key synthetic carbon–carbon bonds by cross-coupling remains a challenge in
organic chemistry. Realization of this goal will enable the combination of simple building blocks to rapidly assimilate synthetic
complexity with only a minimum level of stoichiometric waste. Electrochemistry provides a new platform to conduct reactions
through in situ generation of reactive intermediates under mild conditions, with broad applications to industrial synthesis.
Herein, we seek to combine the fields of electrochemistry and cross-coupling reactions, using an electric current to
catalytically generate alkylzinc reagents and reactive alkyl radicals. These intermediates will then undergo coupling,
facilitated by nickel catalysis, to generate key carbon–carbon bonds, including challenging C(sp3)–C(sp3) bonds.
Furthermore, the powerful combination of electrochemistry and nickel catalysis will enable the simplest feedstock chemicals
– alkanes – to be utilized for the first time in cross-coupling through a nickel chain-walking process, providing facile access to
fatty acids and alternative coupled products. These projects will enable the emergence of new reaction strategies for
exploitation in a sustainable manner. Additionally, this ambitious and innovative proposal will succeed through considerable
two-way transfer of knowledge between the participating organizations and the ER, developing the fellow into a leading
international researcher.