USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Novel Synthesis of Cubane Precursor

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1994 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Steroids Ltd.
2201 West Campbell Park Dr Chicago, IL 60612
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1994
Title: Novel Synthesis of Cubane Precursor
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $375,000.00


Cubane C8H8 is potentially an extremely valuable fuel substitute for the kerosene-based rocket propellant RP-1. The classical Eaton synthesis to yield cubane 1,4-dicarboxylic acid in five steps involves a key photochemical reaction. The steps before and after the critical 2+2 cycloaddition are standardized and readily scalable. However, this steps alone prevents scale-up. We will develop a non-photochemical method for this step. We propose three chemical alternatives: a) radical cation 2+2 cycloaddition via a radical chain process, b) a cobalt catalyzed 2+2 cyclodimerization and c) a nucleophilic addition-cyclization route. Rapid analysis for the success in non-photochemical reaction of the chemical 2+2 is easily done because the properties of the product are already known. Therefore during the six month period of Phase I we will start a screening of many one-electron oxidants for radical cation formation (route a), exhaustively vary reaction parameters for the cobalt catalyzed cyclodimerization, (route b) and investigate a representative number of nucleophiles capable of triggering the intramolecular cyclization in route c.

Principal Investigator:

Liang Guo

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Steroids, Ltd.
Chicago Technology Park, 2201 W Campbell Park Dr Chicago, IL 60612

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No