Donald H. Aue

Associate Professor

Office Hours

Monday (3pm, Chem 2134)
Wednesday (3pm, Chem 2134)
Friday (3pm, Chem 2134)
By Appointment

Contact Phone

(805) 893-2643

Office Location

Chem 2134



Dr. Aue received his B. Sc. at The Ohio State University and Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1967. He completed postdoctoral research at Columbia University, and joined the UC Santa Barbara faculty in 1968. Dr. Aue has been a visiting professor at the University of Utah and a National Research Council Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Protection Agency.


Current Research 

Our research group is involved in a wide variety of studies in physical and synthetic organic chemistry and the application of analytical, physical, and theoretical techniques to significant problems of interest.

We have synthesized theoretically interesting molecules of this type in order to study their unusual physical properties, reactions, reactivity, and mechanisms. For example, the very strained pi-bonds in 1 and 2 make them susceptible to attack by electrophilic reagents. The products of such additions often show the consequence of mechanistically significant rearrangement reactions.

Using several mass spectrometric and GCMS techniques, we are studying the basicity of organic hydrocarbons to determine the stabilities of interesting ions such as 3 and the acidities and basicities of relatively non-volatile biological molecules such as amino acids, peptides and nucleotides. Such gas-phase measurements provide the thermodynamic data needed to determine the effect of solvation on biological molecules.

We are applying new theoretical methods to understand the behavior of the molecules and ions from the studies above. Problems under investigation include NMR coupling constant analysis, analysis of mass spectra and infrared spectra, and the interpretation of ionic stabilities and ionization potentials from photoelectron spectroscopy.


Selected Research Publications

Asymmetric Gold-?Catalyzed Lactonizations in Water at Room Temperature” Handa, Sachin; Lippincott, Daniel J.; Aue, Donald H.; Lipshutz, Bruce H., Angew. Chem., Int. Ed201453, 10658-10662.

Gold-?Catalyzed Cyclizations of cis-?Enediynes: Insights into the Nature of Gold-?Aryne Interactions” Wang, Youliang; Yepremyan, Akop; Ghorai, Subir; Todd, Robert; Aue, Donald H.; Zhang, Liming Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 201352, 7795-7799.

[3, ?3]?-?Sigmatropic Rearrangement versus Carbene Formation in Gold-?Catalyzed Transformations of Alkynyl Aryl Sulfoxides: Mechanistic Studies and Expanded Reaction Scope” Lu, Biao; Li, Yuxue; Wang, Youliang; Aue, Donald H.; Luo, Yingdong; Zhang, Liming J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 8512-8524.

Regioselective reductions of ?,??-?disubstituted enones catalyzed by nonracemically ligated copper hydride” Voigtritter, Karl R.; Isley, Nicholas A.; Moser, Ralph; Aue, Donald H.; Lipshutz, Bruce H. Tetrahedron 201268, 3410-3416. 

Experimental and Computational Evidence for Gold Vinylidenes: Generation from Terminal Alkynes via a Bifurcation Pathway and Facile C-?H Insertions” Ye, Longwu; Wang, Yanzhao; Aue, Donald H.; Zhang, Liming J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 31-34.

Carbocations”Aue, Donald H. in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science 20111, 487-508.

Synthesis of activated alkenylboronates from acetylenic esters by CuH-?catalyzed 1,?2-?addition?/transmetalation” Lipshutz, Bruce H.; Boskovic, Zarko V.; Aue, Donald H. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 200847, 10183-10186.

“Electron Affinities of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Negative-Ion Chemical-Ionization Sensitivities” L. D. Betowski, Mark Enlow, Donald H. Aue Int J. Mass Spectrom. 2006, 255-256, 123-129.

“Calculation of Electron Affinities of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Solvation Energies of Their Radical Anions.”  L. D. Betowski, Mark Enlow, L. Riddick, Donald H. Aue J. Phys. Chem. A 2006, 110, 12927-12946.

“Gas-Phase Basicities, Experiment and Theory” Donald H. Aue in Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry; Elvevier: Oxford, N. M. M. Nibbering, Ed., Vol. 4, 2005, 64-78.

"Ab Initio Calculated Gas-Phase basicities of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons" Donald H. Aue, Michele Guidoni, and L. D. Betowski Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 2000 201, 283.

"Calculation of Carbocation Stabilities", Donald H. Aue in Encyclopedia of Computational Chemistry, Schleyer, P. v. R.; Allinger, N. L., Clark, T.; Gasteiger, J.; Kollman, P. A.; Schaefer III, H. F.; Schreiner, P. R. (Eds.); John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, 1998, 210-220.