Asymmetric reactions of organosilicon compounds and properties of novel optically active organosilanes

  • G.J. Jervis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Partial reduction of racemic methoxysilanes by 1:1 complexes of lithium aluminium hydride with optically active cinchona and ephedra alkaloids give optically active silanes and methoxysilanes. Optical yields depend on the groups attached to silicon and the alkaloid used but in some cases approach 50%, The method has been used to prepare novel optically active organosilanes, possessing an asymmetric silicon centre, which are either inaccessible by any of the other available routes or would require a time consuming preparation. Such compounds are of use in the study of the mechanism of substitutions at silicon.
Attempts have been made to rationalize the results of the asymmetric reductions in terms of differences in sterio and electronic interactions in diastereoisomeric transition states.
Circular dichroism and optical rotatory dispersion spectra have been obtained for the optically active products in an attempt to elucidate the absolute configurations of the novel asymmetric organosilanes. The results from these studies provide a useful addition to the data so far accumulated for asymmetrically perturbed aromatic chromophores.
Nuclear magnetic resonanoe studies of diastereoisomaric (-)-menthoxysilanes show that these compounds possess resonances extremely useful in the determination of optical purities for asymmetric organosilanes which possess an aromatic group. The effect of variable temperature on the spectra has revealed evidence for the conformational preferences in these compounds. Other diastereoisomeric alkoxysilanes have been prepared and their n.m.r.spectra studied in the hope of establishing trends.
Exploratory studies for other asymmetric reactions proceeding at silicon have proved unfruitful.

Date of AwardDec 1970
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorA. Holt (Supervisor)

Cite this