Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Click Chemistry: some working experience
Click chemistry is not equal to Cu(+) catalyzed triazole formation although literature centers on it. At least two types of Cu-free exist, which comforts many workers in toxicity concerns. Another click reaction, ene-thiol reaction, may find the best practical use in industry.
Running a click reaction is not as easy as a piece of cake. Actually one may need quite some tweaking in starting trials, particularly in catalyst and solvent selection. There are very good reviews detailing all these aspects. Once you get it working for you, click chemistry can be very rewarding and productive.
In early days, one had to make all the reagents themselves before coming to the final "click". No doubt it did not help those who were not familiar with organic synthesis but could potentially be interested and would not mind in "clicking". Last several years has seen increasing reagent offering from a wide range of vendors, both domestic and international. One would see more and more reagents available in "clickable" forms: biotin, fluorophore, quenchers, amino acids, carbohydrate, PEG, nucleosides for biotechnology, and many precursors, dendrons, intermediates for material science. There are even more for thiols and terminal alkenes.