ActivitiesAssociate Professor Nishikata has been awarded the “Tosoh Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan” by the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan 2016.03.30
Associate Professor (tenure track) Takashi Nishikata of Materials Science and Engineering at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering has been awarded the “Tosoh Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan” by the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan. This award aims to encourage outstanding exploratory research in synthetic organic chemistry, and a research grant by means of donations from supporting companies is given as a supplementary prize in order to promote collaboration between the academic community and industry.
The award-wining theme is “Development of a copper-catalyzed fluorination reaction of alkyl bromide using an alkaline metal fluoride.” Fluorine is an essential element for useful compounds owing to its singular properties. For example, it is in fact contained in 20 to 30% of pharmaceutical products and agricultural chemicals. Consequently, development of efficient reactions for the fluorination of molecules is one of the most important issues in organic synthesis. However, in the current fluorination reactions, while reagents that are very expensive and difficult to prepare are being developed, almost no work had been done on developing efficient methods for using alkaline fluoride, which is inexpensive and easy to obtain. So, the focus was placed on radical fluorination reactions of alkyl groups by means of alkaline fluoride, using a copper catalyst. It is anticipated that this method will make it possible to carry out selective and inexpensive fluorination of useful molecules such as pharmaceuticals.