Chemical synthesis

Chemical synthesis is the process by which one or more chemical reactions are performed with the aim of converting a reactant or starting material into a product or multiple products. Chemical synthesis is at the heart of much chemistry research as it is the basis for discovering compounds with new physical or biological properties.

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  • News & Views |

    High-temperature solutions called fluxes are widely used to synthesize solid compounds. The composition and structural properties of reaction products in a two-component flux system can now be tuned by varying the temperature and the ratio between a component of the reaction medium and a second component that serves as a ‘tuning knob’.

  • News & Views |

    The direct carbon isotope exchange reaction on α-amino acids is highly desirable, as existing labelling methods require several synthetic steps and harsh conditions. Now, an aldehyde-catalysed carboxylate exchange with isotopically labelled *CO2 has enabled the direct formation of 11C, 13C and 14C-labelled α-amino acids.

    • Karoline T. Neumann
    •  & Troels Skrydstrup
  • News & Views |

    Truly general chemical reactions work well regardless of the structural features and functional groups in the starting molecule. A new screening protocol speeds up the identification of such reactions in the field of asymmetric catalysis.

    • Manuel J. Scharf
    •  & Benjamin List
    Nature 610, 632-633
  • News & Views |

    Efforts to probe the biological functions of carbohydrates have long been limited by the lack of such molecules with well-defined structures. An automated carbohydrate synthesizer has been developed that could remedy this.

    • Hanchao Cheng
    •  & Peng George Wang
    Nature 610, 266-267