Research in the Eichman group is focused on the development of catalytic processes that enable new reactions for organic synthesis. Expanding on this central theme, we are interested in two main areas: 1) new catalyst design for biomimetic transformations, and 2) incorporating renewable resources into complex molecule synthesis. Nature’s approach toward the synthesis of complex molecules typically involves rapid generation of advanced intermediates from relatively simple building blocks. Adopting a similar approach in a chemical synthesis laboratory is challenging and often requires the integration of novel bond construction techniques. Introducing high levels of molecular complexity in a single synthetic operation alleviates the need for long, linear synthetic sequences.

Toward this goal, our primary objective is to design transition metal and metal-free catalysts for new reaction discovery. These reactions will be employed in constructing biologically active scaffolds, the testing of which will lead to collaborative chemical biology studies. Concurrently, mechanistic investigations of these processes will help increase catalyst efficiency and will ultimately fuel new catalyst discovery. Some of our projects include:

  • Transition Metal Catalysis

  • C–C Bond Activation in Strained Molecules

  • Controlled Olefin Oligomerizations

  • New Iron Catalyst Design

  • Selective Alkane C–H Activation

  • Metal-Free Reactions

  • Oxidative Dearomatization of Arenes

  • New Hypervalent Iodine Catalysts

  • Frustrated Lewis Pairs