Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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  • Phyllis A. Leber

    Dr. E. Paul and Frances H. Reiff Professor of Chemistry
    Office: HAC414


    B.S. Albright College, 1976
    Ph.D. University of New Mexico, 1981

    Research Interests

    Our research group has been investigating substituent effects on and stereochemical outcomes of the [1,3] sigmatropic rearrangement of bicyclic and tricyclic vinylcyclobutanes. The value of these studies is to enhance our understanding of bond-breaking processes, to probe the fundamental nature of diradical intermediates, and to conduct experimental tests of theoretical and computational predictions.

    Research Collaboration
    - With John Baldwin, Syracuse University


    2001 - Present

    Student coauthor bold.

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Nocket, Anthony J.; Hancock-Cerutti, William; Bemis, Christopher Y.; Khine, Wint Khant; Mohrbacher III, Joseph A.; Baldwin, John E.  “Gas Phase Thermal Reactions of exo-8-Cyclopropylbicyclo[4.2.0]oct-2-ene (1-exo),” Molecules 201419, 1527-1543.   

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Bell, Ryan M.; Christie, Carlton W.; Mohrbacher III, Joseph A. "A Vinylcyclobutane Substrate Designed as a Cyclopropylcarbinyl Radical Probe,” Org. Biomol. Chem. 201311, 2080-2083.

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Nocket, Anthony J.; Wipperman, Matthew F.; Zohrabian, Sylvia; Bemis, Christopher Y.; Sidhu, Munsha K.  “Experimental Evidence of a Cyclopropylcarbinyl Conjugative Electronic Effect,” Org. Biomol. Chem. 2013, 11, 5994-5997.

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Mann III, George R.; Hancock-Cerutti, William; Wipperman, Matthew F.; Zohrabian, Sylvia; Bell, Ryan M.; Baldwin, John E.  "Thermal Isomerizations of cis,anti,cis-Tricyclo[ 2,8]tridec-10-ene," J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 3468-3474.

    Yoder, C.H.; Leber, P.A.; Thomsen, M.W.  The Bridge to Organic Chemistry: Concepts and Nomenclature; John Wiley & Sons: New Jersey, 2010.

    Schilling, Amber L.; Leber, Phyllis A.; Yoder, Claude H.  “Exploration of SO2 Scrubber: A First-Year Environmental Project,” J. Chem. Educ., 2009, 86, 225-226.

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Williams, Benjamin R.; Yoder, Claude H.  “The Change in Publication Rates at Undergraduate Institutions During the Last Two Decades,” J. Chem. Educ., 2009, 86, 876-878.

    Baldwin, J.E.; Leber, P.A. “Molecular Rearrangements through Thermal [1,3] Carbon Shifts.” Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 2008, 6, 36-47.

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Bogdan, Andrew R.; Powers, David C.; Baldwin, John. E. "Thermal Isomerizations of cis,anti,cis-Tricyclo[,7]dodec-3-ene to trans- and cis,endo-Tricyclo[,7]dodec-9-ene: Diradical Conformations and Stereochemical Outcomes in [1,3] Carbon Shifts," Tetrahedron 2007, 63, 6331-6338 (50th Anniversary Special Issue).

    Powers, David C.; Leber, Phyllis A.; Gallagher, Sarah S.; Higgs, Andrew T.; McCullough, Lynne A.; Baldwin, John E. "Thermal Chemistry of Bicyclo[4.2.0]oct-2-enes," J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 187-194.

    Leber, Phyllis A.; Lasota, Celina C.; Strotman, Neil A.; Yen, Gloria, S. "The Effect of a Methoxy Substituent on the Vinylcyclobutane Carbon Migration," J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 912-919.

    Baldwin, J.E.; Leber, P.A.; Powers, D.C. "Thermal Reactions of 7-d- and 8-d-Bicyclo[4.2.0]oct-2-enes," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 10020-10021.

    Bogle, X.S.; Leber, P.A.; McCullough, L.A.; Powers, D.C. "Thermal Reactions of 8-Methylbicyclo[4.2.0]oct-2-enes: Competitive Diradical-mediated [1,3] Sigmatropic, Stereomutation, and Fragmentation Processes," J. Org. Chem. 2005, 70, 8913-8918.

    Brigandi, L.M.; Leber, P.A.; Yoder, C. H. "Synthesis and Analysis of Copper Hydroxy Double Salts," J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 82, 1662.

    Baldwin, J.E.; Bogdan, A.R.; Powers, D.C.; Leber, P.A. "cis,anti,cis-Tricyclo-[,7]undec-3-ene: A Template for [1,3] Migration via an Exclusive Symmetry-forbidden Suprafacial Retention Pathway," Org. Lett. 2005, 7, 5195-5197.

    D.C. Powers, A.T. Higgs, M.L. Obley, P.A. Leber, K.R. Hess, C.H. Yoder. "An Environmental Project for First Year Chemistry Students: Analysis of Natural Buffer Systems and the Impact of Acid Rain." J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 826, 274-277.

    J.E. Baldwin, S.S. Gallagher, P.A. Leber, A. Raghavan, R. Shulka. "Deuterium Kinetic Isotope Effects and Mechanism of the Thermal Isomerization of Bicyclo[4.2.0]oct-7-ene to 1,3-Cyclooctadiene." J. Org. Chem. 2004, 69, 7212-7219

    P.A. Leber, "An Introductory Quantitative GC Experiment for the Organic Chemistry Laboratory" in Gas Chromatography: Lab Lessons by Robert M. Hillard, GOW-MAC Instrument Co., Bethlehem, PA 2004.

    J.E. Baldwin, S.S. Gallagher, P.A. Leber, A. Raghavan. "The Thermal Disrotatory Electrocyclic Isomerization of cis-Bicyclo[4.2.0]oct-7-ene to cis,cis-1,3-Cyclooctadiene," Org. Lett. 2004, 6, 1457-1460.

    A.L. Schilling, K.R. Hess, P.A. Leber, C.H. Yoder. "A Simulation of the Interaction of Acid Rain with Soil Materials." J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, 246-247.

    H.D. Harle, J.A. Ingram, P.A. Leber, K.R. Hess, C.H.Yoder. "A Simple Method for Determination of Solubility in the First-Year Laboratory." J. Chem. Educ. 2003, 80, 560.

    H.D. Harle, P.A. Leber, K.R. Hess, C.H.Yoder. "A Concept-Based Environmental Project for the First-Year Laboratory: Remediation of Barium-Contaminated Soil by In Situ Immobilization." J. Chem. Educ. 2003, 80, 561-562.

    P.A. Leber and J.E. Baldwin, "Thermal[1,3] Carbon Sigmatropic Rearrangements of Vinylcyclobutanes." Accounts of Chemical Research 2002, 35, 279-287.

    J.E. Baldwin, P.A. Leber and T.W. Lee. "Kinetic Derivations for Thermal Isomerizations of Monodeuterio Cyclic 1,3-Dienes Through 1,5-Hydrogen Shifts." J. Chem. Educ. 2001, 78, 1394-1399.

    J.E. Baldwin, P.A. Leber and T.W. Lee. "Kinetic and Activation Parameters for the Thermal 1,5-Hydrogen Shifts Interconverting the Four Monodeuterio-cis,cis-1,3-cyclooctadienes." J. Org. Chem. 2001, 43, 5269-5271.

    J.E. Baldwin and P.A. Leber. "New Thermal Reactions of Deuterium-labeled Bicyclo[3.2.0]hept-2-enes: Bicyclic Skeletal Inversoin and Epimerization at C7," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 123, 8396-8397.


    Course Information

    Dr. Phyllis Leber teaches the following courses:
        Chem 111/112 - General Chemistry I and II
        Chem 211/212 - Organic Chemistry I and II