Photo of Driver, Tom

Tom Driver




3220 SELE, MC 111

Office Phone:

(312) 996-9672


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My research group is focused on the rational development of new transition metal-catalyzed methods that selectively transform simple molecules into functionalized N-heterocycles. Towards that end we are interested in (1) exploring the chemistry of azides and (2) functionalizing traditionally unreactive C–H bonds.

We have recently discovered a number of transition metal-catalyzed methods, which enable the conversion of azides to a variety of important N-heterocycles (Scheme 1). We aim to elucidate the mechanism through which these processes operate and develop new methods based on our mechanistic conclusions.
recently developed methods

Selected Publications

  1. Stokes, B. J.; Richert, K. J.; Driver, T. G., Examination of the Mechanism of Rh2(II)-Catalyzed Carbazole Formation Using Intramolecular Competition Experiments. J. Org. Chem. 2009, 74, 6442.
  2. Sun, K.; Sachwani, R.; Richert, K. J.; Driver, T. G., Intramolecular Ir(I)-Catalyzed Benzylic C–H Bond Amination of ortho-Substituted Aryl Azides. Org. Lett. 2009, 11, 3598.
  3. Shen, M.; Driver, T. G., Iron(II) Bromide-catalyzed Synthesis of Benzimidazoles from Aryl Azides. Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 3367.
  4. Shen, M.; Leslie, B. E.; Driver, T. G., "Dirhodium(II)-catalyzed Intramolecular C–H Amination of Aryl Azides." Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 5056.
  5. Dong, H.; Shen, M.; Redford, J. E.; Stokes, B. J.; Pumphrey, A. L.; Driver, T. G. “Transition metal-catalyzed synthesis of pyrroles from dienyl azides.” Org. Lett. 2007, 9, 5191.
  6. Stokes, B. J.; Dong, H.; Leslie, B. E.; Pumphrey, A. L.; Driver, T. G. “Intramolecular C–H amination reactions: exploitation of the Rh2(II)-catalyzed decomposition of azidoacrylates.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 7500.


  • BSc (Honors, Highest Distinction) 1999, Indiana University
  • PhD, University of California, Irvine, 2004
  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 2004-2006