Reaction repeatedly inserts organolithium compound into carbon-boron bond, creating chains up to 10 carbons long
Copying Nature’s Assembly Line
Organic Synthesis: Successive homologation reactions let chemists tailor carbon chain’s conformation
Organic chemists have long admired nature for its ability to perform chemistry in an assembly-line style, wherein the same reaction or sets of reactions are carried out repeatedly to create a target molecule. Polyketide natural products, for example, are biosynthesized via such an assembly-line process.
Now, chemists at England’s University of Bristol report an assembly-line reaction that can be done in a flask (Nature 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nature13711).