Elena Kharitonova

The Esterification of Boronic Acid Derivatives

Aryl esters are a class of organic molecules that have a wide range of applications. They are common active ingredient of pharmaceuticals, food flavorings, perfumes, and cosmetics. They are useful building blocks for other molecules in synthetic chemistry, structural elements in material science, and components of many biological tools. Traditionally, these esters are prepared by the addition of strong electrophiles to arenes under harsh conditions, often for long periods of time. Because of the harsh conditions, these classical reactions occur with a very limited scope. In addition, the reaction occurs at the position of aryl rings that is most electron rich. However, recent advances in metal catalysts allow implementation of new and easier methods of synthesis that were not previously possible. This summer, I propose to discover a catalyst and appropriate reagents for the esterification of aryl boronic esters that are formed from the catalytic functionalization of aryl C-H bonds with boron reagents. The proposed catalytic reaction scheme of the project should form aryl esters under much milder conditions in a simple two-step process.

Message to Sponsor

I just want to thank you so much for granting me the opportunity to explore my interests further. It has not only helped me grow as a researcher but has immensely helped me narrow down what I want to do. I've learned a lot about the field and about myself this summer. I am so grateful for the SURF program for such a great summer!
  • Major: Chemical Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Experience
  • Mentor: Prof. Hartwig