Affiliations: 7Go to article
Go with the glow
© Geoff Brightling/Getty
An unexpected green glow from a reaction flask has helped lead chemists to discover that the powerful ‘photoredox’ catalytic reaction could be even more versatile than previously thought.
A potent method for making drugs and other valuable molecules, photoredox catalysis uses catalysts that absorb energy from visible light, and pass that energy on to other molecules in the flask to drive a reaction. However, for some unreactive molecules, the catalyst’s excited-state energetics are not enough to drive the reaction.
A team co-led by Deakin University researchers has discovered a potential way to overcome this limitation. After observing an unusual colour change in a photoredox reaction, they discovered that under certain conditions, the photoredox catalyst can undergo a second photoexcitation step to an energy state in which even quite unreactive substrates will undergo synthetically useful reactions.
- Journal of the American Chemical Society 141, 17646–17658 (2019). doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b07370