Research Article

Mapping the dark space of chemical reactions with extended nanomole synthesis and MALDI-TOF MS

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Science  10 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6402, eaar6236
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar6236

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A rapid screen for complex reactants

Chemists engaged in reaction discovery tend to report outcomes involving a few, relatively simple reactants. It remains a major challenge to fine-tune reported conditions when the reactants become more structurally complex, as often happens in pharmaceutical research. Lin et al. developed a protocol for rapidly screening different catalytic conditions for C–N coupling across a wide range of complex substrates. The product detection scheme relies on mass spectrometry of nanomole-scale reaction mixtures without any need for intervening chromatography.

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