Author Information

Kenneth Awasung


One core focus of my research project, (my 2007 summer research) is to make structural analogs of substituted phenols to support the titanium catalysis of organic compounds. The synthesis and study of these and related ligands, (pyrrolyls, aldimines, salens, and other nitrogen/oxygen heterocycles) is a major field of organometallic chemistry. Bulky phenols and their analogs serve as highly effective ligands to support catalysis due to their sterics and electronics. I have been designing and have begun synthesizing phenol analogs using a series of aldol condensations and michael additions and other organic chemistry methodology to generate new substituted phenols. Our method is centered on the synthesis of known phenols and I have worked on the generation of four modified phenols that would represent novel compounds and could serve as ligands to enable transition metal catalysis for a broad range of chemical reactions.

My second core focus has been to develop known and novel phenol compounds to serve as catalysts for a specific type of hydroamination reaction. In my current honors thesis work I am exploring the usage of titanium phenoxide catalyzed intra-molecular hydroaminations of amino alkenes. My progress on phenoxide ligand synthesis, intra-molecular hydroaminations, and their planned combination represent my ongoing exploration of these three phases that has evolved over the last 3 years of my collaborative undergraduate research with Professor Waratuke and my fellow group members. This paper serves as a preliminary report of our work and the prospective of my senior thesis, (Spring 2008).

Note on the Author

Kenneth Awasung is a senior Chemistry major who conducted his research under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Waratuke. He presented his research at the 2008 National meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans. This work is part of an honors thesis which will be defended in April of 2008.

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