: 30 November 2018
Chaojun Li, Academician (李朝军院士)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Fellow of the TWAS
Department of Chemistry
McGill University, Quebec, Canada H3A 0B8
In classical synthetic organic chemistry, functional groups are essential. They provide handles for chemical transformation to obtain important products in the fields of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, fine chemicals, dyes, paint, fibers, plastics, etc. However, often, these functional groups are removed during the reaction or need to be removed at a later stage. Furthermore, pre-functionalized starting materials need to be synthesized in separate steps. These additional steps combined with necessary separation and purification processes drastically lower the efficiency of chemical syntheses as well as lead to resource depletion and waste generation, ultimately resulting in health and environmental issues.
With the recent development of green chemistry and chemical sustainability, various innovative frontiers of synthetic chemistry have been explored. Among them, enormous success has been made in the direct functionalization of C-H bonds for synthetic purposes. The direct generation of a C-C bond from C-H bonds, instead of using a pre-synthesized functional group, has the potential to significantly reduce the number steps for chemical synthesis and thus fundamentally increase the efficiency of chemical productions. This special issue will highlight the most recent examples on the subject of C-H activation and functionalization related to physical chemistry features, such as the mechanism and kinetics.