The research areas in Dr. Zhengkun Yu's laboratories span over organometallic chemistry, transition-metal promoted organic synthesis and homogeneous catalysis as well as some R&D projects on fine chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates.
Catalytic Activation of Inert Chemical Bonds
Activation and functionalization of inert chemical bonds is a chanllenge in organic synthesis and homogeneous catalysis. We are interested in transition metal-promoted activation of inert C-H, C-Cl, C-O and C-S bonds and the related synthetic methodologies. Representative publications: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2016, 55, 862-875; Chem. Commun.2016, 52, 2913-2915; Chem. Eur. J.2015, 21, 14085-14094 (Hot Paper); Chem. Soc. Rev.2015, 44, 2305-2329; Chem. Commun.2014, 50, 12479-12481; Chem. Eur. J.2014, 20, 3439-3445; Chem. Soc. Rev.2013, 42, 599-621; Org. Lett.2012, 14, 3854-3857; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2012, 51, 6060-6072; Chem. Eur. J.2011, 17, 6321-6325; Org. Lett.2011, 13, 4272-4275; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2010, 49, 5792-5797; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2009, 48, 2929-2933；J. Am. Chem. Soc.2008, 130, 8136-8137.
C-H Bond Activation
J. Am. Chem. Soc.2008, 130, 8136.
C-H Bond Activation
Org. Lett.2009, 11, 1317.
C-Cl Bond Activation
Chem. Eur. J.2010, 16, 787-791.
C-S Bond Activation
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2009, 48, 2929.
Construction of Highly Active Transition Metal Complex Catalysts
Nitrogen donor-containing compounds have been shown great potentials as ligands to construct highly active non-phosphine organometallic catalysts because nitrogen donor-containing organometallic complexes are usually reactive and stable in air. N-Heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands, pyridyl-pyrazolyl-based, pyridyl-oxazolyl-based and pyridyl-imidazolyl-based NNN ligands and their transition metal complexes are synthesized and applied in organic catalytic reactions. Chiral coordinating moieties are introduced into the ligand backbone to prepare transition metal complex catalysts for asymmetric organic reactions. Representative publications: Organometallics2016, 35, 1251-1256; Organometallics2015, 34, 5278-5284; Organometallics2013, 32, 3083-3090; Chem. Eur. J.2012, 18, 11550-11554; Chem. Eur. J.2011, 17, 4737-4741; Organometallics2009, 28,1855-1862；Oranometallics 2008, 27, 6025-6028；Organometallics2008, 27, 4833-4836；Organometallics2008, 27, 2898-2901；J. Org. Chem.2006, 71, 5274-5281；Organometallics2005, 24, 4110-4112；Organometallics2005, 24, 2959-2963.
J. Org. Chem. 2006, 71, 5274-5281.
Iron-Mediated Organic Synthesis and Catalysis
Iron salts have emerged as alternative and promising catalysts for a wide range of organic transformations due to their advantages such as low cost, nontoxicity, good stability, and easy manner to handle. We are interested in FeX3-promoted versatile cyclization and C-X bond formation reactions. Representative publication: Org. Lett.2014, 16, 6310-6313; Chem. Commun.2014, 50, 6337-6339; J. Org. Chem.2012, 77, 8355-8361; Chem. Eur. J.2011, 17, 10547-10551; Chem. Eur. J.2010, 16, 9264-9272; Org. Lett.2009, 11, 2113-2116.
Org. Lett.2009, 11, 2113-2116.
Organic Synthesis via Fischer Carbene Complexes
Fischer carbene complexes of chromium and tungsten are usually air- and moisture-stable, and thus can be conveniently manipulated. Due to their multiple-bond reactivity Fischer carbene complexes have been used as building blocks in organic synthesis to construct organic molecules not easily obtained by traditional synthetic procedures. Synthesis of functional N-heterocyclic compounds such as bimanes is currently one of our major goals in this area. Fischer biscarbene complexes have also been paid considerable attention in our laboratories. Molecular structures of the newly formed carbene complexes and the demetalated organic products can be determined by X-ray crystallographic study. Org. Lett.2011, 13, 3384-3387; J. Organomet. Chem.2009, 694, 3058-3067；J. Org. Chem.2006, 71, 9695-9700；Organometallics2006, 25, 5301-5310；J. Organomet. Chem.2006, 691, 5007-5015；J. Organomet. Chem.2006, 691, 3679-3692；Organometallics2005, 24, 302-308；Org. Lett.2005, 7, 871-874.