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Monday 4/2/2018

Report writing

Today I mostly decided to focus on writing my report, as my main lab supervisor only works Wednesday to Friday and I feel like I really need to get some of the finalised processes down into writing while they’re still fresh in my mind.

I have confirmed two (amination and oxidation) of the three mechanisms with my supervisor, who is happy with my approach, but the reduction mechanism still seems very elusive. After many approaches with many different transitional states, may different forms of \(\ce{BH4, BH3, OH-BH2, THF-BH3}\) and so on, I always seem to end up with too many electrons in the system , too many bonds in my molecules, too few protons to accept the charges or some other stumbling block.

The limitation appears to be that I’m not entirely sure what can and cannot disrupt a \(\pi\) system, since they don’t really behave like alkenes (despite how thy are typically depicted) and I’m not familiar enough with inorganic catalysis, and electron orbitals to understand what boron does and doesn’t want.

While there is plenty of information on borane, diborane, THF-borane and boronic acid, understanding how each one forms into the other is difficult, especially since boron seems to often be used in environments where water can act as a proton donor. Nevertheless, I will keep pursuing the answer and will try and get some more report writing done today.