Ljiljana Pavlovic (UiT to HU, Nov.-Dec. 2018)

Purpose of the visit

Visit to Prof. Repo. Obtain insights into enantioselective aza-Michael addition of cyclic carbamates formed from CO2.

 

I visited the group of Prof. Timo Repo at the University of Helsinki  (HU) from 24th of Nov. to the 8th of Dec. I experienced two beautiful weeks there. Helsinki is a wonderful city with beautiful churches, architecture and museums, and it made me realise I have to come back.
The main goal of my visit was to get insights into the chemistry that Prof. Repo’s group is doing in the laboratory and then to apply that in the study of the reaction mechanisms using computational methods. At the Kum-pula campus, where the Dept. of Chemistry is located, I enjoyed working with Jere and Jussi, who are both great organic chemists. They shared their experiences with me and we discussed a lot about chemistry. Current-ly, they are working on a chiral guanidine, which they plan to use as a catalyst in an asymmetric Michael addition. One of the substrates in this reaction is cyclic carba-mate, which is synthetized from CO2. During my stay, I computed a few achiral guanidine catalysts and we are now planning to expand this study to asymmetric reactions.
Presently, in our group, we are working on enantioselective CO2 conversion into carbo-xylic acids using bidentate chiral ligands.  This trip gave me an opportunity to expand my knowledge on asymmetric reactions and Brønsted base catalysis. As a computational chemist, I do not spend much time in the laboratory, however at HU, I had a chance to observe experiments involving CO2 chemis-try, and it was a really nice experience. Special thanks to Jere and Prof. Repo for making my visit educational and fascinating.