Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Christopher Uyeda

Committee Member 1

Mingji Dai

Committee Member 2

Corey Thompson

Committee Member 3

Jianguo Mei


Strained, three-membered rings were found to undergo oxidative addition to [iPrNDI]Ni2(C6H6) complex [NDI = napthyridine-diimine). Activation of the C-N bond of 1-tosyl-2-vinylaziridine generates a dinickel metallacyclic product. Based on this reactivity, the [iPrNDI]Ni2(C6H6) complex was shown to be a highly active catalyst for rearranging vinylcyclopropanes to cyclopentenes. Notably, 2-phenyl-1-vinylcyclopropane undergoes regioselective activation at the less hindered C–C bond in contrast to the non-catalytic thermal rearrangement. The dinuclear complex was also found to readily rearrange hetero-atom containing cyclopropanes to their linear products. DFT calculations provide insight into the ability of the Ni–Ni bond to stabilize key intermediates and transition states along the catalytic pathway. Hetero-atom abstraction was also observed in the activation of other strained, three-membered rings with the [iPrNDI]Ni2(C6H6) complex. Crystal structures were obtained from the activation of sulfur containing heterocycles and their characteristics are currently being investigated to design catalytic desulfurization reactions.