Synthesis with hypervalent iodines

Development of new methods of synthesis with hypervalent iodine compounds

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The oxidation of readily accessible and inexpensive aromatic compounds by powerful oxidants can result in the generation of valuable dearomatized molecules with a wide range of applications in synthetic chemistry, biology, and pharmaceuticals. However, the most often employed oxidants are extremely hazardous and typically require extreme conditions to facilitate the reactions. These disadvantages significantly restrict the use of such oxidants, particularly on a large scale, and make controlling the oxidative processes difficult, raising the cost of the desired products. To circumvent these disadvantages, one solution is to employ hypervalent iodine oxidants, which are environmentally benign, sustainable, recyclable, and very affordable. However, in most situations, hypervalent iodine reagents are inert towards oxidation of unactivated aromatic compounds, and unique approaches must be developed to activate them for this purpose. The aim of this project is to create such innovative approaches by utilizing our experimental and theoretical expertise to unlock the latent reactivity of hypervalent iodine compounds and to manufacture important dearomatized products at a significantly lower economic and energy cost. In this regard, we discovered a novel mechanism named "ligand-promoted iodine(V)-mediated oxidation" (LPIMO) using computational chemistry tools. This mechanism can serve as a foundation for understanding how to activate hypervalent iodine(V) reagents such as DMP and IBX towards the oxidation of nonactivated aromatic compounds. Currently, the approach is confined to the oxidation of electron-rich pyrroles with DMP; however, this study will allow us to use the synergy between experimental and theoretical skills to broaden the scope of the synthetic methods.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Alireza Ariafard


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Inorganic, Physical, Organic, and Computational Chemistry backgrounds

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, A/Prof Alireza Ariafard to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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