Our research interests

We are interested in discovering and developing new reactions, reagents and synthetic methods. We are motivated both by the fundamental reaction discovery and mechanism elucidation, and by the prospect to use these findings in the development of new organic synthetic tools. Our research into new processes revolves around main group chemistry and catalysis, with particular emphasis on hypervalent halogen compounds, as well as on the synthesis and reactivity of molecules with C-B and C-Si bonds. Our research combines main group chemistry, transition metal catalysis, and mechanistic and spectroscopic studies.

Our joint team was created in 2018, through a collaboration between the groups of Alex Shafir at the Institute of Advanced Chemistry (IQAC-CSIC) and that of Ana B. Cuenca at the Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS-URL). This collaboration allows us to take on new challenges by bringing together the synthetic methodology background of the two teams . You can find us in Barcelona.

"Iodane-guided" C-H functionalization

Thanks to its position in the 5-th row of the Periodic Table, Iodine, although a halogen, displays certain metal-like traits, such as a characteristic metallic sheen of I2 crystals or a certain stabilization of its high oxidation states. In organic chemistry, this allows the formation of the so-called hypervalent iodine compounds, which are characterized by having formally tri- or penta-valent iodine substituents. By now, a plethora of synthetic methods employ hypervalent iodine compounds, mainly as oxidants or as electrophilic group  transfer agents.

Following a less explored direction, we identified a series of oxidative processes in which hypervalent iodine reagent enables interesting C-H coupling reactions. Among these, we are interested in using the hypervalent iodine reactivity manifolds in which the trivalent iodine group in the Ar-I(OAc)2 structure directs an oxidative C-H coupling event at a specific position of the arene ring. Such reactions takes place thanks to the ability of certain nuclepohilic species to displace one of the two -I(OAc)2 acetates, thus leading to a highly reactive λ3-iodane intermediate. This is can be illustrates with our recent work on ortho C-H allylation using functionalized allylsilanes (DFT calculation by Dandan Chen and the M. Solà at UdG), whereby the allyl-iodonium intermediate undergoes low-barrier [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement.

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Boron- and silicon-based reaction development

Our group is interested in discovering and developing new reactions, reagents and synthetic methods. We are motivated both by the fundamental reaction discovery and mechanism elucidation, and by the prospect to use these findings in the development of new organic synthetic tools. Our research into new processes revolves around main group chemistry and catalysis, with particular emphasis on hypervalent halogen compounds, as well as on the synthesis and reactivity of molecules with C-B and C-Si bonds. Our research combines main group chemistry, transition metal catalysis, and mechanistic and spectroscopic studies.

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Methods and reagents for BN-isosteric aromatics

Our group is interested in discovering and developing new reactions, reagents and synthetic methods. We are motivated both by the fundamental reaction discovery and mechanism elucidation, and by the prospect to use these findings in the development of new organic synthetic tools. Our research into new processes revolves around main group chemistry and catalysis, with particular emphasis on hypervalent halogen compounds, as well as on the synthesis and reactivity of molecules with C-B and C-Si bonds. Our research combines main group chemistry, transition metal catalysis, and mechanistic and spectroscopic studies.

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