Monday, February 15, 2010

Definition of click chemistry: a reminder

Yes, click chemistry is hot - so hot that it becomes a difficult task to track the huge body of "click chemistry" publications. But let us see how many publication have somewhat misused the term "click chemistry". Some of those uses are unnecessary, to say the least. BTW, How many times have I used "click chemistry" in this short paragraph?

Let us look at the definition of "click chemistry" by Sharpless et al in their paper (Angew Chem. Int. Ed. 2001, 40, 2004):  
"We have termed the foundation of this approach "click chemistry," and have defined a set of stringent criteria that a process must meet to be useful in this context. The reaction must be modular, wide in scope, give very high yields, generate only inoffensive byproducts that can be removed by nonchromatographic methods, and be stereospecific (but not necessarily enantioselective). The required process characteristics include simple reaction conditions (ideally, the process should be insensitive to oxygen and water), readily available starting materials and reagents, the use of no solvent or a solvent that is benign (such as water) or easily removed, and simple product isolation. Purification - if required - must be by nonchromatographic methods, such as crystallization or distillation, and the product must be stable under physiological conditions."

So this is the reminder for proper use of the term "click chemistry".

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