If you were a chemistry seminar topic...

I have to do a 20-minute seminar at the end of my Chem Lit class. Unfortunately, NOTHING sounds exciting to me. The only criteria are that it needs to be specific enough to be able to find good research, but general enough to be able to find enough research. Also, there has to be a good deal of study in the last 3 years. I know that I would like to cover something organic, probably, since that’s what I’m familiar with, but there are so many topics out there that I don’t know what to do. O Dopers of the Chemistry, what would you find interesting in a senior-level undergrad research/review seminar?

Synthesis of spirocyclic compounds - common in a lot of natural products (important in drug research) and chemically challenging.

Or more general? Synthetic applications of the Diels-Alder reaction (I always liked that one)

Someone did Diels-Alder last year, actually. Since this thread wasn’t as popular as I thought it would be (lol), I went and looked through Chemical Reviews for something interesting. There’s a review on industrial syntheses of HIV protease inhibitors, don’t know where I could go with that, and then on a more fun note, last December’s issue has an article called “Carbon Flatland…” and then something something something fenestranes. In that same issue there’s a review on Möbius molecules. All I need now is to go get the full text on those two and find some synthetic application so I can title my presentation “Novel structures and their use in synthesis” or something else boring.

Thanks for your help, though! You made me get off my ass and go look at some stuff.

If you hadn’t already got off your ass I would have suggested calixarenes. They were my pet project in undergrad and I’ve got a special fondness for them. You can do fun stuff with host-guest complexing.