Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

Degree Level



Chemistry & Biochemistry


Matthias C. Mcintosh

Committee Member

Neil Allison

Second Committee Member

Suresh K. Thallapuranam

Third Committee Member

Nan Zheng


2-ketoazoles, Azoles, Breslow intermediate, Claisen Rearrangement, Tertiary alcohols, Thiamine


This work describes efforts targeted at the development of novel reactivity modes for the Breslow intermediate, which was proposed by Breslow to explain the mechanism of action of thiamine-dependent enzymes. By employing this intermediate as a hydroxy-substituted N,S-ketene acetal, we successfully captured it via Claisen rearrangement towards the preparation of diaryl tertiary alcohol products that are isomers of the hitherto elusive intermediate. This strategy also constitutes an unusual disconnection for a Claisen rearrangement precursor.

We have also uncovered an unprecedented radical C-N bond scission of a Breslow intermediate when a fluorenyl group is installed on the azolium nitrogen atom. This facile homolysis affords intermediates that lead to products analogous to those previously reported by Oka. This method is useful for the preparation of several medicinally relevant 2-ketoazoles, while efforts are underway for its application towards the derivatization of existing azole drugs and medicinally relevant aldehydes.

Available for download on Friday, August 30, 2024