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Soutenance publique de thèse de doctorat en Sciences chimiques - Damien MAHAUT

Phosphatriptycenes: from quantum chemical investigations to applications in main group and frustrated Lewis pair chemistry

Catégorie : défense de thèse
Date : 22/06/2023 16:30 - 22/06/2023 19:30
Lieu : CH01
Orateur(s) : Damien MAHAUT
Organisateur(s) : Guillaume BERIONNI


  • Dr MICHAUX Catherine (département de chimie, UNamur), présidente
  • Prof. BERIONNI Guillaume (département de chimie, UNamur), promoteur et secrétaire
  • Prof. CHAMPAGNE Benoît (département de chimie, UNamur)
  • Dr LIEGEOIS Vincent (département de chimie, UNamur)
  • Prof. BAUDOIN Olivier (department of Chemistry, University of Basel)
  • Prof. LUTS Greb (University of Heidelberg)


Frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) consisting of sterically hindered Lewis acids and bases constitute promising alternatives to established transition metal catalysts. Expanding the scope of FLP and main group chemistry requires the development of Lewis bases or acids with new reactivities. To this end, constraining main group elements, such as phosphorus and boron, in a “non-classical” scaffold is a promising but little explored strategy. Due to their cage-shaped structure,
9-phosphatriptycene derivatives are weak Lewis bases with high potential in FLP chemistry. Similarly, boranes such as 9-boratriptycene derivatives exhibit enhanced Lewis acidity due to their non-planar character.

This thesis describes the multi-step synthesis of 9-phosphatriptycene derivatives and their application in FLP catalysis (hydrogenation of unactivated alkenes) and in main group chemistry (potential fluorinating agents). In addition, a density functional theory investigation was undertaken, focusing on their structure-property relationships as well as on the Lewis acidity of
9-boratriptycene derivatives and their application in methane activation.

In essence, this work expanded our understanding of the structure-property relationships affecting the reactivity of main group compounds. This fundamental advancement demonstrated that structural changes can constitute a new strategy for reactivity fine-tuning and brought solutions to long-lasting challenges in metal-free catalysis and main group chemistry.


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