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NES8806 : Selectivity and Stereocontrol in Organic Synthesis

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Julian Knight
  • Lecturer: Dr Johan Eriksson, Dr Roly Armstrong
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


To familiarise students with the key strategies for the stereocontrolled synthesis of organic compounds; to provide practise in identifying and applying such strategies; to exemplify the principles in the context of the synthesis of organic targets

Outline Of Syllabus

tereocontrol In Organic Synthesis

Introduction to synthetic strategy, selectivity and specificity
The aldol reaction
Asymmetric synthesis. Use of the chiral pool
Seminar covering the material on Stereocontrol

Asymmetric Catalysis

Introduction to catalysis and asymmetric catalysis. Energy diagrams. Temperature dependence of asymmetric induction. Examples of commercial asymmetric catalytic procedures.
Chiral ligands. Ligand design. Ligand-symmetry. Energy diagrams for C1- and C2-symmetric processes.
Metals used in asymmetric catalysis. Role of the metal. What makes a good asymmetric catalyst?
Asymmetric catalysis of reduction reactions. Alkene hydrogenation. Ketone reduction.
Corey oxazaborolidines. Asymmetric catalysis of oxidation reactions. Sharpless epoxidation. Jacobsen epoxidation and related reactions.
Sharpless bis-hydroxylation and aminohydroxylation. Asymmetric catalysis of carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. Cycloaddition reactions.
Addition of diethylzinc to aldehydes.
Organocatalysis. Enamine chemistry. Proline catalysed aldol reactions. Mannich reactions. Aldehyde amination and oxygenation. Michael additions.
Use of enzymes as catalysts. Whole cell and isolated enzymes. Need for cofactors.
Asymmetric catalysis on compounds which already contain stereocentres. Kinetic resolution. Dynamic kinetic resolution. Desymmetrization of meso compounds. Double stereodifferentiation.
Non-linear effects. Asymmetric autoinduction, asymmetric autocatalysis, asymmetric autoamplification.
Seminars covering questions on the material on Asymmetric Catalysis

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials231:0023:00Present in Person lecture support and workshop sessions
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Module introduction, module structure, assessment, reading lists and mode of delivery
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Week 11. Synchronous online support for assessment 1
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study82:0016:00Study for guided practise problem material in support of lecture content.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Online recorded 'lecture' material.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study139:0039:00Revision of taught material & preparation for assessment.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The course involves the introduction of a set of principles which may be applied to the analysis and design of organic synthesis. These principles are addressed in the lecture materials. These basic principles are consolidated in online material which exemplify these principles in the context of total synthesis of organic targets and serve to draw together the various strands of the course.

Course material is delivered by a combination of short recordings and text published on the VLE and supported by Present in Person 'lecture' slots which consolidate the key aspects and work through exercises (e.g. written problem-solving exercises).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A100N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam will consist of problem-oriented questions, some of which focus on a particular principle or set of related principles and some which require broader analysis. This is deemed an appropriate method of ascertaining the principles introduced in the course and to the extent to which they can apply these to unfamiliar situations.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists