Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From Termite Fumigant to Molecular Coupling

01.09.2014

Sulfur fluoride exchange—a powerful new reaction for click chemistry

The coupling of molecular building blocks nearly as easy as “snapping” them together can be realized by means of the “click chemistry” tool kit. American scientists have now introduced another achievement for the click concept in the journal Angewandte Chemie: the sulfur fluoride exchange reaction (SuFEx) can be used to form robust inorganic bridges between carbon centers and opens up a fully unexplored area of chemistry with countless new molecules that could form the basis for new drugs, diagnostics, plastics, “intelligent” materials, and many other products.

Developed in the 1990s by Nobel Laureate K. Barry Sharpless and his colleagues, the concept of click chemistry is aimed at synthesizing target molecules rapidly and precisely from smaller units. The reactions must be specific, broadly applicable, and environmentally friendly while delivering high yields.

They must also be based on inexpensive, widely available reagents that react under mild and uncomplicated conditions. Since the discovery of the azide–alkyne cycloaddition reaction in 2002 by the Sharpless team, the click concept has become established as a universal chemical technique.

A team led by Sharpless at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (CA, USA) has now developed another groundbreaking click reaction: sulfur fluoride exchange (SuFEx). This reaction exploits the very special reactivity of sulfur fluorides and makes it possible for chemists to bind together molecules of their choice.

Like most click reactions, the process itself is an old one that has been improved to allow the previously underestimated sulfate bond to be used as a universally applicable connector for linking a variety of molecular building blocks.

The starting material is a common, commercially available chemical called sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2) that is widely used as a fumigant against termites and other pests. It was previously considered generally inert—incorrectly, as Sharpless and his co-workers have found. The team was able to make this chemical reactive in a reliable and predictable way.

In the SuFEx reaction, the fluoride ion must be extracted from a bond with a hexavalent sulfur atom. This is not so easy, so the SO2—F unit is remarkably stable in typical acidic or basic environments. This bond thus fulfills a central requirement of click chemistry: it remains “invisible” under most conditions, coming to life only on demand.

A broad palette of potential applications could benefit from this reaction. The teams of Sharpless and V. V. Fokin developed an efficient, nearly quantitative synthesis of high-molecular-weight polysulfate polymers that should be easy to implement on an industrial scale. Linked by sulfate groups, these polymers are sulfur-containing analogues of polycarbonates and represent a new class of plastics potentially superior to present-day materials.

One particular advantage is that unlike polycarbonates, which can react with water to give off bisphenol A—a substance that has hormonelike properties and poses problems for both health and the environment—polysulfates are resistant to hydrolysis and thus cannot release monomers.

This is just one application for the SuFEx reactions; many other reactions with other building blocks are possible. An advantage for the biological sciences is that sulfate links do not occur in any life forms and the new SuFEx reaction does not interfere with biological processes.

About the Author

K. Barry Sharpless, W. M. Keck Professor at The Scripps Research Institute and its Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, pursues and develops useful new chemical connectivity. Click chemistry was conceived by him in the mid-1990s as a method for rapidly discovering, and improving existing, useful reactivity. Now his group has found its 2nd 'perfect' click reaction. In 2001 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on asymmetric catalysis.

Author: K. Barry Sharpless, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (USA), http://www.scripps.edu/sharpless

Title: Sulfur(VI) Fluoride Exchange (SuFEx): Another Good Reaction for Click Chemistry

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2014, 53, No. 35, 9430–9448, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201309399

K. Barry Sharpless | Angewandte Chemie

Further reports about: Coupling Fumigant Molecular blocks conditions materials reactions reactivity sulfate sulfur

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The secret sulfate code that lets the bad Tau in
16.07.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

nachricht Colorectal cancer risk factors decrypted
13.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>