Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Emerson, Joseph P.

Committee Member

Sygula, Andrzej

Committee Member

Mlsna, Todd

Committee Member

Scott, Colleen N.

Committee Member

Oliver, Allen G.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Aziridines and cyclopropanes are valued as important building blocks for the synthesis of a wide range of organic compounds, including biologically active compounds and pharmaceuticals. The development for more efficient and cost-effective catalysts for the atom transfer reaction with olefins is a continuing area of research in both organic and inorganic chemistry. Transition metal complexes, which catalyze reactions of olefins with nitrenes and carbenes, are well-developed efficient, approaches to the direct synthesis of aziridines and cyclopropanes, but traditionally rely on expensive synthetic methods. As part of our efforts in the catalytic formation of C—C and C—N bonds, herein we show the development of a new and efficient copper(II) catalysts that exhibits high reactivity forming cyclopropanes and aziridines from a range of olefins. These catalytic systems have also shown a propensity to conduct these atom-transfer reactions in aqueous solutions, affording the opportunity to use bio-macromolecules, like DNA, to induce enantioselectivity.