Considering the geometry of cubane, it is noteworthy that the distance across the cube (the body diagonal) is 2.72 Ĺ, which is almost equivalent to the distance across a benzene ring, i.e., 2.79 Ĺ,11,12 which has led to renewed interest in it as an isostere in drug development. Our interest in the cubane scaffold emerged from a search for rigid linking units which would inhibit electronic communication between bound electron transfer systems.
The cubane framework thus stood out, but the chemistry of cubane has remained somewhat stagnant for much of the last three decades and, as such, many modern avenues in synthetic chemistry, e.g., transition-metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, have not been rigorously applied to the cubane system. The aim of this project is to develop appropriate cubane building blocks and test their applicability in cross-coupling reactions.
The group is constantly involved in looking for new and better methods of porphyrin synthesis. Current research projects are focused on new fusing techniques and ß-modification reactions.