Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemistry


Dallas K Bates


This dissertation involves study of various aspects of sulfoxide chemistry. Specifically designed t-butyl and propanenitrile sulfoxides tethered to indole-2-carboxamide were used as a source of intramolecular sulfenylating agents to synthesize novel indolo[3,2-b]-1-5-benzothiazepinones which are structurally analogous to the other biologically active benzothiazepinones. This study reveals that the intramolecular cyclization of sulfoxide follows an electrophilic sulfenylation (Sulfoxide Electrophilic Sulfenylation, SES) reaction pathway. Evidence of the absence of sulfenic acid as a transient reactive intermediate in such intramolecular cyclization is also provided.

In another study, sulfoxide was used as a “protecting group” of thioether to synthesize 8-membered, indole substituted, thiazocine-2-acetic acid derivative via Ring Closing Metathesis (RCM). Protection (oxidation) of inert (to RCM) sulfide to sulfoxide followed by RCM produced cyclized product in good yields. Deprotection (reduction) of sulfoxide was achieved using Lawessons Reagent (L.R.). Application of the sulfide-sulfoxide redox cycle to solve the existing difficulties in using RCM methodology to thioethers is illustrated.

A new design of a “molecular brake”, based on the sulfide-sulfoxide redox cycle is described. N-Ar rotation in simple isoindolines is controlled by the oxidation state of the proximate sulfur atom. Sulfide [S(II)] shows “free” [brake OFF] N-Ar rotation whereas sulfoxide displayed hindered [brake ON] N-Ar rotation. The semi-empirical molecular orbital (PM3) calculations revealed concerted pyramidalization of amidic nitrogen with N-Ar rotation.

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