Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Constructing complex molecules with atomic precision


Researchers in Russia have developed a waste-free and cost-effective approach for preparing complex organic molecules and revealing the physical nature of the processes that control the direction of chemical transformations.

 Increasing demand from high technology sectors for better approaches to industrial production is prompting the emergence of a new generation of chemical synthesis methods.

Copyright : Dr. E.G.Gordeev, Ananikov Laboratory, Moscow

“Until recently, it was not possible to construct complex organic molecules by manipulating individual atoms,” says Professor Valentine Ananikov, laboratory head of the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“But the development of new lab equipment and state-of-the-art organic synthesis methods are facilitating a new direction in chemistry: the preparation of organic molecules, biologically active compounds, pharmaceutical substances and smart materials with atomic precision.”

Traditional methods for the preparation of organic molecules require complicated technologies, the use of expensive catalysts and the application of toxic reagents.

Now, scientists from 14 different laboratories representing leading research centres in Russia are combining their expertise to develop safer and more costefficient procedures for chemical production.

Their strategy includes the replacement of expensive catalysts (such as palladium, platinum and rhodium) with easier to obtain and cheaper analogues (e.g. nickel, copper and manganese). The new approach also avoids the use of toxic reagents and the production of wastes by applying alternative procedures based on sustainable protocols.

Described in Russian Chemical Reviews, the team’s approach involves preparing a target molecule by connecting molecular fragments to each other with atomic precision and carrying out all chemical modifications with complete selectivity. So far, Professor Ananikov and his colleagues have applied the new approach to synthesise some 300 individual molecules – ranging from flame retardants and ligands for catalysis to biologically active compounds and pharmaceutical building blocks.

Among its achievements, the multidisciplinary team has shed new light on the factors responsible for the formation of chemical bonds between particular atoms or molecular fragments, while completely controlling the selectivity of these reactions. What’s more, in depth studies carried out in the 14 laboratories have resulted in efficient protocols for improving the performance of chemical transformations. They have also contributed to the development of a new generation of industrial procedures.

According to the Russian team, the new approach could also be used in connection with many established procedures for preparing organic molecules such as cross-coupling reactions, fluorination reactions, catalytic hydrogenations and oxidations, among others. The researchers are now focused on implementing atomic precision chemical reactions on an industrial scale and fostering international collaborations.

For further information contact:
Professor Valentine Ananikov
Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
Russian Academy of Sciences

*This article also appears in Asia Research News 2015 (P.58).

Associated links
Read Asia Research News 2015
Download a copy of Asia Research News 2015 for free

Ananikov Laboratory | ResearchSEA

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>