Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The utilization of Lewis acids to activate substrates containing carbonyls is ubiquitous in organic synthetic methods. in order to facilitate the development of novel reaction pathways and understand existing methods, it is necessary to determine the solution interactions between Lewis acids and Lewis bases. Historically, the characterization of the interactions of Lewis pairs has relied on solid state infrared (IR) spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography, as well as in situ NMR. I have developed a method utilizing in situ IR spectroscopy and solution conductivity towards the identification of the solution structures formed when a range of carbonyl compounds are combined with catalytically-active metal halide Lewis acids under synthetically relevant conditions. Experiments designed to elucidate the relevant Lewis acid-carbonyl solution structures to specify their impact in catalytic methods will be presented.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.