The Development of Asymmetric Organocatalysis and Metallaphotoredox
David W. C. MacMillan, McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, Merck Center for Catalysis, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544
This lecture will first discuss the advent of organocatalysis in my laboratory. As part of this overview, we will highlight why organic catalysts have become widely explored in modern synthetic chemistry.
This lecture will also discuss the application of visible light photocatalysis to the discovery or invention of transformations that will be conceptually or synthetically valuable (and sometimes hopefully both). We will describe why a healthy balance of reaction discovery and mechanistic understanding has been important to the development of a field of research that is now being widely adopted in both industrial and academic settings. In particular, we will discuss the application of photocatalysis to the development of new metallaphotoredox reactions involving copper, a development that we hope will have an impact on the discovery of new biologically relevant molecules.