Murphy Group Research Interests
Our research interests are in the reactivity of molecules and their uses in chemistry and in biology. Here are some recent themes:
Organic Molecules (Super-Electron-Donors) as Reducing Agents
We now know that simple neutral organic molecules:
(i) can reduce aryl halides to organic radicals or organic anions.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 46, 5178-5183.
(ii) can reduce benzenes in the presence of malonates and cyanoacetates.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 10934-10937.
(iii) can induce the coupling of aryl halides to arenes.
Chem. Sci., 2014, 5, 476-482.
Electron-poor species have equally fascinating reactivity. We are the first people to prepare, isolate and characterise highly electron-deficient amidine di- and trisalts:
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2012, 51, 8516-8519.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 9174-9175.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 17980-17985.
These compounds are important intermediates in synthesis, although they have not previously been isolated. We prepared them to test a proposal of Berkessel and Thauer relating to the mechanism of an important step in the mechanism of the biological reduction of carbon dioxide to methane.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 1995, 35, 2247-2250.