Stephen L. Buchwald

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2008)

Research Interests

As a synthetic organic chemist, I am interested in the development of new methods that can be utilized for the efficient construction of molecules of academic or industrial relevance. My work has focused on the use of transition metal catalysts to effect selective carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formation. In particular, my laboratory has developed a set of bulky, electron-rich biaryl phosphine ligands. These can be utilized as components of palladium catalysts in Suzuki-Miyaura and related carbon-carbon bond-forming coupling reactions. Further, they are constituents of excellent catalysts for the formation of aromatic carbon-nitrogen bonds. These methods have seen considerable use in both medicinal and process chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry. Further, they have been applied in academia in the synthesis of natural products and new materials, as well as in bioorganic chemistry. An additional component of our work is to gain a mechanistic underpinning of the fundamental processes of these synthetically important processes. Information gathered from these mechanistic studies can be utilized to design increasingly efficient and general catalysts as well as being of interest in its own right.

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