Amino Acids Anchor Novel C–H Olefination | November 30, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 48 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 48 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 30, 2009

Amino Acids Anchor Novel C–H Olefination

Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: organometallic, amino acids, C-H activation

With the help of amino acid ligands, a team at Scripps Research Institute has developed a versatile way to functionalize C–H bonds on aromatic rings with olefins (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182512). The process might come in handy for synthesizing natural products and drugs. Chemists traditionally have turned to the palladium-catalyzed Mizoroki-Heck reaction to forge C–C bonds between aromatic rings and olefins, but the process requires an aryl halide, which isn’t always easy to make. As an alternative, palladium-catalyzed C–H olefination has been plagued by limited substrate scope or a requirement for stoichiometric palladium. In contrast, the new olefination by Jin-Quan Yu and colleagues works on a variety of substrates and uses catalytic amounts of palladium. The researchers attribute the versatility to amino acid ligands, which enhance the catalyst’s reactivity and selectivity.

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