Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Reversible covalent chemistry

Alcohols in the mix

The scope of dynamic combinatorial chemistry is somewhat limited by the small number of predictably reversible reactions. Now, secondary alcohols are shown to quickly and reversibly react with iminium ions to form hemiaminal ethers, opening up opportunites for their use in the construction of complex — and functional — dynamic architectures.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Reversible covalent chemistry of alcohols and aldehydes.


  1. Reek, J. N. H. & Otto, S. (eds) Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry (Wiley-VCH, 2010).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  2. You, L., Berman, J. S. & Anslyn, E. V. Nature Chem. 3, 943–948 10.1038/nchem.1198(2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Lelais, G. & MacMillan, D. W. C. Aldrichim. Acta 39, 79–87 (2006).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Joyce, L. A., Shabbir, S. H. & Anslyn, E. V. Chem. Soc. Rev. 39, 3621–3632 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Osowska, K. & Miljanić, O. Š. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 8345–8349 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Chichak, K. S. et al. Science 304, 1308–1312 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Nitschke, J. R. Acc. Chem. Res. 40, 103–112 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Campbell, V. E. et al. Nature Chem. 2, 684–687 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ognjen Š. Miljanić.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Miljanić, O. Alcohols in the mix. Nature Chem 3, 909–910 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing