Research in the Ritter group focuses on the development of novel reaction chemistry. We seek to discover molecular structure and reactivity that can contribute to interdisciplinary solutions for challenges in science. The lab focuses on synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry, complex molecule synthesis, and mechanistic studies to develop practical access to molecules of interest in catalysis, medicine, and materials.
Prof. Tobias Ritter will start to work as director at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung in summer 2015. Until then he works as professor at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA (see link below).
Many of the most useful synthetic molecules, including numerous pharmaceuticals, contain fluorine due to the desirable unique properties of fluorinated molecules. Carbon–fluorine bond formation is a challenging chemical transformation, especially in the context of general, functional group-tolerant late-stage fluorination of arenes. Our approach to carbon–fluorine bond formation is based on the use of high-valent transition metal fluorides via oxidation of aryl transition metal complexes with electrophilic fluorination reagents. A long-term goal of our research is the development of new methods for the synthesis of small-molecule tracers for positron emission tomography (PET), a powerful imaging technique to study biological processes in vivo. The conceptual advance of our approach is the implementation of new organometallic, organic, and inorganic chemical reactivity as solutions to challenges of interest to the biomedical community. Ultimately, we envision engaging in translational research through new and existing collaborations with physicians and imaging experts to affect the broadest possible impact of our science.
Carbon–fluorine bond formation via reductive elimination is a rare process. We have reported the first isolation of a high-valent palladium fluoride, which can undergo carbon–fluorine reductive elimination. Our work describes the first reductive elimination of an aryl fluoride from a transition metal complex. We identified that C–F reductive elimination proceeds efficiently from aryl Pd(IV) fluoride complexes, stabilized by pyridyl-sulfonamide ancillary ligands. We propose that the pyridyl-sulfonamide ligand plays a crucial role for facile and efficient C–F bond formation.
Prof. Ritter, Tobias