Editors' ChoiceOrganic Chemistry

Quantum dots visibly forge carbon bonds

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 595-596
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6338.595-e

Chemists are late to the game that plants play of using visible light to make carbon-carbon bonds. Nonetheless, they have made up for lost time over the past decade, applying light activation of precious iridium and ruthenium catalysts to a wide variety of molecular transformations. Zhang et al. and Caputo et al. now report that nanoparticulate quantum dots (cadmium sulfide and cadmium selenide, respectively) can also catalyze several of these photoredox reactions. Composed of more abundant elements, these quantum dots further benefit from high light-absorption cross sections and straightforward tunability through variation of diameter and surface ligand structure.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 4246, 4250 (2017).

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