Matthew Betush

Title:  Assistant Professor
Department: Chemistry
Degrees: B.S., Allegheny College; M.S., University of Rochester; Ph.D., University of Rochester

Contact Info

Phone: (814) 332-2197

Office Info

Office Location: Doane Hall of Chemistry C.116
Office Hours: M 2-5 pm; T 2-3 pm; TH 2-4:30 pm

Research Interests

Meldrum’s Acid is a readily available reagent (approx. $0.04/g) that has been exploited over the last century as a synthetic anchor towards many heterocyclic compounds.  In our research, we aim to apply this technology towards small-molecule synthesis of fused and bicyclic heterocycles that have potential as natural products.  Through Knoevenagel or similar condensations, multi-gram quantities of Meldrum’s acid can be converted into functional derivatives which are thermally susceptible to rearrangement.  Flash vacuum thermolysis of Meldrum’s Acid derivatives provides evidence of highly-reactive cumulenes which favorably afford a family of assorted Heterocyclic ring structures.  These rearrangements can be approached thermally and safely in common laboratory conditions.  The resulting products can serve as precursors to natural product and materials chemistry applications.