Post-Grant Reports


Development and Optimization of Copper Catalyzed Alkylboron Homocoupling

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Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry | Organic Chemistry


Student researcher Abbie Northrop spent the majority of the summer working on developing an analytical method with which she could reliably determine the degree of success or failure of her experiments that she performed later in the summer. The instrument that Abbie used is called a Gas Chromatograph (GC) and it requires a lengthy process of calibration and standardization in order to use it to collect useful data about chemical reactions. Abbie succeeded in her goal of developing a protocol for the use of this instrument in her research. A secondary goal of this part of the project was to have Abbie develop competency on this instrument since a GC is one of the most commonly used scientific instruments in chemistry labs worldwide. This part of the project took us longer than expected due to a large amount of troubleshooting we had to do on the instrument but that ultimately added value to her education.

The second major portion of Abbie’s project involved the early part of what is called conditions screening in chemistry. We are trying to develop a new method of forming carbon-carbon chemical bonds. Some closely related bond forming reactions exist but since we are trying to develop a truly new reaction we have to explore a large number of variables to find a combination that leads to a highly efficient and broadly applicable reaction. With an analytical technique in place Abbie has begun the process of running multitudes of experiments that differ from one another by only one variable. In this way we can fine tune all of the pieces of the chemical reaction using a relatively simple model system. This part of the project is very much “in progress” and Abbie is continuing to finish work on this part of the project during the academic year.

The third part of Abbie’s project involves synthesizing key chemicals that will be part of her conditions screening process or will be used in closely related experiments. Abbie worked on this part of the project in parallel to the other two parts and made good progress towards synthesizing some key boron-containing molecules that we plan to use in the new bond forming reaction.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield University Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2020, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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