Chemistry Blog

Category Archive: synthetic chemistry

Aug 28

Explosive Solutions

Instead of starting at the beginning of a paper I want to kick off this commentary with a statement from near the end: “Caution! Covalent azides are potentially hazardous and can decompose explosively under various conditions! Especially Hg2(N3)2, α– and β-Hg(N3)2, and [Hg2N]N3 in this work are extremely friction/shock-sensitive and can explode violently upon the …

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May 02

Polymers from Elemental Sulfur

This post is contributed by John Spevacek, an industrial polymer chemist and the author of the blog “It’s the Rheo Thing” While organic chemists are familiar with the elements, very seldom do we ever make use of them as a reactant. Sure, we add elemental magnesium to Grignard reactions and we can add halogens/hydrogen across …

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Mar 22

Shades of Gray, The Curious History of LCDs

Today is the 40th anniversary of an innovation in chemistry that has had, arguably, a greater impact on our society than any of the Chemistry Nobel Prize winning achievements in the past 40 year. But the man responsible, George Gray, is only known in select chemistry circles (apart from maybe a few travellers boarding a train …

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Feb 16

Has Tamiflu got a cold?

Tamiflu, made by Roche and licensed by them from Gilead and stockpiled in many countries has proved to be a big money maker for Roche. It is one of two neuramidase inhibitors currently available for the treatment of influenza, the other being Zanamivir from Glaxo. Tamiflu is sold as its mono-phosphate salt. During the recent …

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Jan 14

Molecular Mechanics

Synthesising small molecular machines has been somewhat limited to making molecules that can walk or spin round cogwheels. Mind you that is still pretty impressive. Now things are set to change with a recent publication in Science by Dr Leigh from the University of Manchester in the UK. The Manchester group synthesised a rotaxane (a …

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Dec 05

The Flagship of Chemistry (Total Organic Synthesis).

In an essay to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Angewandte Chemie our friend and mentor Prof. K. C. Nicolaou had penned an essay for this august event. Which can be seen here. Not to be outdone in this essay he examines the flow of chemical knowledge from its emergence in the 5th century B.C. to …

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