Reactive precursors

Reactive precursors are substances that exist as intermediates in multi-step reaction processes, such as in the synthesis of complex nanoparticles.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Domino reactions can offer efficient synthetic access to complex products, but characterisation of unstable intermediates is often not possible. Here the photochemical domino cyclisation of tetrafluorostilbene is characterised by NMR and X-ray crystallography of each intermediate, and shown to terminate in an unusual double fluorine atom transfer reaction.

    • Takashi Murase
    • , Chikako Matsuda
    • , Kiyohiro Adachi
    • , Tomohisa Sawada
    •  & Makoto Fujita
  • Research |

    So far, monosubstituted carbenes have only been spectroscopically characterized at very low temperatures. Now, it has been shown that a bulky, chemically inert, amino substituent is enough to tame the intrinsic tendency of carbenes towards dimerization, enabling their isolation at room temperature.

    • Ryo Nakano
    • , Rodolphe Jazzar
    •  & Guy Bertrand
    Nature Chemistry 10, 1196-1200
  • Research |

    Strained organic compounds have long fascinated the chemistry community. Heterocyclic allenes are particularly interesting strained intermediates, but their use in synthetic chemistry is rather scarce. Now, an experimental and computational study of azacyclic allenes demonstrates that heteroatom-containing cyclic allenes can be harnessed for the construction of complex molecular scaffolds, including those that bear multiple stereogenic centres.

    • Joyann S. Barber
    • , Michael M. Yamano
    • , Melissa Ramirez
    • , Evan R. Darzi
    • , Rachel R. Knapp
    • , Fang Liu
    • , K. N. Houk
    •  & Neil K. Garg
    Nature Chemistry 10, 953-960
  • Research |

    A photocatalytic strategy is described that generates diazomethyl radicals as direct equivalents of carbynes, which are often too reactive to use, enabling the functionalization of a range of medically useful compounds.

    • Zhaofeng Wang
    • , Ana G. Herraiz
    • , Ana M. del Hoyo
    •  & Marcos G. Suero
    Nature 554, 86-91
  • Research | | open

    Radicals of heavy main-group elements represent important intermediates in chemical synthesis, yet few have been isolated. Here the authors stabilize neutral stibinyl and bismuthinyl radicals using gallium-based ligands, and reduce the former to afford a Ga=Sb double bond-containing complex.

    • Chelladurai Ganesamoorthy
    • , Christoph Helling
    • , Christoph Wölper
    • , Walter Frank
    • , Eckhard Bill
    • , George E. Cutsail III
    •  & Stephan Schulz

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Free radicals are notorious for unselective coupling reactions; however, the coupling of free radicals generated from acyl tellurides has now been shown to form C–C bonds with remarkable fidelity, which enables easy one-step assembly of densely oxygenated natural product motifs.

    • Wenhao Zhang
    •  & Ang Li
    Nature Chemistry 9, 198-199