Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cui, Xin

Committee Member

Scott, Colleen N.

Committee Member

Wipf, David O.

Committee Member

Emerson, Joseph Patrick

Committee Member

Creutz, Sidney E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Organic Chemistry

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


1,2-Diazetidine is a four-membered ring heterocyclic compound which has two adjacent nitrogen atoms. However, the syntheses of C-unsubstituted 1,2-diazetidines are rarely reported in the literature. C-unsubstituted 1,2-diazetidines were synthesized through an operationally simple intermolecular vicinal disubstitution reaction between 1,2-dibromoethane and hydrazine with N-arylsulfonyl as the protecting group. Several different types of C-unsubstituted 1,2-diazetidines derivatives were synthesized with either two of the same or two different N-arylsulfonyl groups. The electronic and steric properties were analyzed using Raman spectroscopy and computational calculations. Then, several synthetic applications were demonstrated with 1,2-ditosyl-1,2-diazetidine (DTD). As a synthetic application, a nucleophilic ring-opening reaction of the diazetidine was identified through various thiol selective cleavage of the N‒N bond, resulting in the stereoselective formation of a new class of N-sulfenylimine. Furthermore, DTD underwent FeBr2-catalyzed retro [2+2] ring-opening and sustained release of formaldimine (FI) in situ in a reaction medium which is the simplest imine used amidomethylative reagent. Therefore, the effective available concentration can be controlled at low levels in the reaction medium. Moreover, the sustained release of FI was able to interrupt the amidomethylative process with α- methylstyrene and FeBr2 as the catalyst and resulted in 4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyrimidine (PTPH) as a product. The PTPH is a neurotoxic compound used to induce Parkinson’s disease in animal models. In addition, sustained release of FI allowed to switch the selectivity from alkene, imine, and imine arrangement into alkene, imine, and alkene arrangement in [2+2+2] cycloaddition reaction and led to form piperidines as a product which is the most observed heterocycle in marketed drug molecules. Chromane derivatives are observed in pharmaceuticals and natural products. Chirally pure chromane derivatives were synthesized through ruthenium-catalyzed chiral transient directing-mediated enantioselective C–H activation. Interestingly, a phosphate was involved in the deprotonation step, the rate-determining step with a 5.3 KIE value.