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 |

    Methods for the synthesis of bicyclo[1.1.1]pentanes (BCPs) typically rely on the release of strain energy, but these routes cannot easily introduce substituents on the BCP bridges. Now, an intramolecular coupling gives access to multi-substituted BCPs, through the synthesis of bridge-substituted bicycloalkyl boronic esters.

    • Cara E. Brocklehurst
    •  & Edward A. Anderson
    Nature Chemistry 13, 928-930
  • News & Views |

    Benzene rings are almost unbreakable in typical reaction conditions. Chemistry has now been developed that selectively breaks these rings open, highlighting their potential as building blocks for making open-chain molecules.

    • Mark R. Crimmin
    Nature 597, 33-34
  • News & Views |

    Although the natural lasso peptide microcin J25 remains an elusive target for total chemical synthesis itself, this topologically non-trivial building block has now been used to construct a range of interlocked molecular architectures including rotaxanes, catenanes and daisy chains.

    • Jan H. van Maarseveen
    Nature Chemistry 13, 822-823
  • News & Views |

    Carbon–carbon single bonds are generally among the least reactive chemical bonds. While olefin metathesis reactions are well established, direct metathesis of C–C single bonds is rare. Now, a C–C single bond metathesis reaction has been developed, forming cross-biaryl products from unstrained homo-biaryl compounds.

    • Michael M. Gilbert
    •  & Daniel J. Weix
    Nature Chemistry 13, 818-820
  • Research Highlights |

    The supramolecular assembly of oligomers encoded with complementary recognition units enables duplex hybridization with helical structure.

    • Colette Whitfield