Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

David M. Chenoweth


Arynes are known as useful synthons in organic synthesis. In particular, reactions accompanying multiple arynes have been employed for the construction of arenes and heteroarenes of complex molecules. Employing known reactivity modes of arynes such as cycloadditions, nucleophilic addition, bond insertion, Alder-ene, annulation, desaturation, and polymerization, a wide variety of transformation of reactive starting materials led to the development of novel fluorophores and energy materials, as well as the synthesis of natural products.

Harnessing the highly reactive arynes, the triple aryne-tetrazine (TAT) reaction was disclosed as a novel metal-free synthetic method for the preparation of dibenzo[de,g]cinnoline derivatives in a single operation. Dibenzo[de,g]cinnolines have been shown as potential fluorescent probes in cells. For the mechanism, multiple mechanistic steps of the TAT reaction were scrutinized by isolation of intermediates and byproducts as well as a computational study on the transition states and the competitive reactions pathways.

A facile two-step synthesis of the reported structure of xylopyridine A was developed from a pyridyne precursor and 2-fluorobenzoic acid utilizing a pyridyne insertion reaction followed by reductive coupling. Simple transformation of the reported xylopyridine A structure have given photoactivatable dyes and specific organelle staining probes in either live or fixed cells and tissues, exhibiting high quantum yields, photostability, cell permeability and low toxicity. On the basis of these results, the synthesis of multistage photoactivatable dyes was designed and studied.

Utilization of arynes allowed access to the synthesis of 9-substituted triptycene derivatives which have been recognized as three-way junction binders. Accompanying solid-phase peptide synthesis, the rapid diversification of the triptycene scaffold was achieved for screening in a nucleic acid junction binding assay.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."