The organic synthesis of commercially significant molecules to the use in life science, health care, industrial application or as precursor for further academic research is of broad interest in many areas. Of major concern is to obtain a product of high yield. To achieve this goal means to optimise the reaction chain process.
Electrochemistry covers a wide range of research and application, and it can be specifically used in various fields. One of the most interesting applications electrochemistry offers is the electro-oxidation and reduction of terminal groups of complex organic molecules as adequate reaction step in the reaction chain that finally results in the main product. This electrochemical step that conveniently intermediates and combines single reaction chains requires a good handling and profound background knowledge how to specifically apply electrochemistry to control the reaction process.
Our company’s interest lies in the specific use of electrochemistry to optimise the reaction scheme of synthesising complex and commercially valuable molecules with the aim to significantly increase the yield of the product and to lower the cost of production. The idea is to adjust the precursor molecules within the reaction chain in a way that radicals are formed selectively on purpose by electro-oxidation and reduction and, monitoring the specific orientation of the precursors to each other, they instantaneously react and, hence, function as suitable precursors in the subsequent reaction step. Monitoring the precursor’s orientation and inducing the formation of radicals again, we successively follow up a scheme that finally results in a product that may function in a different reaction chain as precursor again. This whole process is strongly determined by purposely adjusting the precursors within a reaction chamber and electrochemically pulsing the terminal groups. The main advantage is to mostly exclude time consuming preparation and pre - and post treatment of the reaction step products detrimental to obtaining high product yield, widely practised in conventional organic chemistry.
As the reaction scheme that we develop, is a sort of combinatorial synthesis supported by selectively chosen electrochemical tools, we call this process “Combinatorial Electrosynthesis”