Photocatalysis is a type of catalysis that results in the modification of the rate of a photoreaction - a chemical reaction that involves the absorption of light by one or more reacting species - by adding substances (catalysts) that participate in the chemical reaction without being consumed.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Although pyrene-containing molecules have been studied for their optical properties, the outcome of their incorporation into mechanically interlocked structures remains underexplored. Here, the authors install pyrene units into homo[2]catenanes and investigate the formation of long-lived triplet states, which can be exploited for photocatalysis.

    • Amine Garci
    • , Jacob A. Weber
    •  & J. Fraser Stoddart
    Nature Catalysis 5, 524-533
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Sulfonyl fluorides have potential application in chemical biology, materials science, and drug discovery, but their preparation remains challenging. Here, the authors report an air-stable fluorosulfonylating reagent that enables the radical fluorosulfonylation, hydrofluorosulfonylation and migratory SO2F-difunctionalization of unsaturated hydrocarbons to construct a variety of sulfonyl fluoride compounds.

    • Weigang Zhang
    • , Heyin Li
    •  & Yi Wang
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Lignans, in spite of their structural diversity, are all biosynthetically derived from coniferyl alcohol. Here, the authors describe a divergent and stereoselective chemical synthesis of three types of lignans from biomass-derived monolignols, exploiting the different reaction manifolds of highly reactive radical cation intermediate.

    • Jia-Chen Xiang
    • , Cédric Fung
    •  & Jieping Zhu
  • Research |

    Ketyl radicals can be used in a range of reactions, but their generation often requires harsh conditions and a large excess of reductants. Now, a multicomponent, palladium-photocatalysed reaction between aldehydes, 1,3-butadiene and N, S, O and C nucleophiles to build architecturally complex homoallylic alcohols is reported wherein ketyl-type radicals are generated under mild conditions.

    • Huan-Ming Huang
    • , Peter Bellotti
    •  & Frank Glorius
    Nature Synthesis 1, 464-474
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Sulfonyl fluorides are compounds with potential application in chemical biology and drug discovery, but their preparation can be challenging. Here, the authors present a type of bench-stable fluorosulfonyl radical reagents that enable radical fluorosulfonylation reactions via photoredox catalysis.

    • Peng Wang
    • , Honghai Zhang
    •  & Saihu Liao

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Accessing reactive ketyl-type radicals in mild and controllable ways represents an ambitious target. A study now reports a multicomponent palladium-photocatalysed reaction between aldehydes, 1,3-butadiene and various nucleophiles that affords complex homoallylic alcohols through ketyl-type radicals.

    Nature Synthesis 1, 424-425
  • Comments & Opinion |

    The tris(2,2′-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) cation, or ‘rubipy’ to its friends, has had a significant influence on our understanding of the photophysics of transition metal complexes, and has also helped revolutionize organic photochemistry, explains Daniela M. Arias-Rotondo.

    • Daniela M. Arias-Rotondo
  • News & Views |

    Molecular photocatalysts for generating solar fuels such as hydrogen degrade over time, ceasing to function as intended. Now the mechanism by which a ruthenium–platinum-based hydrogen-evolving photocatalyst breaks down has been identified, leading to the development of a repair strategy that uses singlet oxygen to regenerate an inactivated bridging ligand.

    • Claudia Turro
    Nature Chemistry 14, 487-488
  • News & Views |

    Aryl ethers are privileged scaffolds in contemporary drug-discovery programs. Now, employment of triplet states of aryl halides enables copper-mediated cross-coupling with various alcohols for the expedient synthesis of aryl ethers.

    • Haoyu Li
    •  & Shunsuke Chiba
    Nature Synthesis 1, 339-340