'Br-exit' in photocatalysis? Chlorides gain in popularity

A strategic look at the photocatalytic activation of organic chlorides

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Maciej: I came back to Poland after completing an eye-opening post-doc in the group of prof. Burkhard König. I was full of passion, enthusiasm and ready to open a new chapter in my professional life: an independent researcher career. Having the generous financial support from the National Science Centre, I was eager to put ideas into action, run experiments, collect results and share them with the world—the sooner the better. But life teaches us to be patient. As a rookie PI I quickly realised that such trivialities as arranging the lab-space, hiring co-workers, or purchasing the equipment are all important parts of the job. And they do not happen overnight. For several weeks it was just me, an old laptop and a head full of thoughts on my main area of research: organic chlorides in photocatalysis. What a perfect opportunity to dive into literature and start planning a review paper!

Martyna: After completing my PhD, I was looking for new professional challenges in the industry. It turned out, however, that this type of work did not give me the satisfaction I had hoped for. I really missed ‘doing academic science’. Eighteen months later I found an advertisement from Maciej and I knew it was my chance. New, young and small group plus chemical challenges, that I have never dealt with before, equals a wonderful opportunity for a personal development! For me, to begin the adventure by working on this review article, was a great preparation for further research in the field.

Joanna: As a third-year student of chemistry, I applied for a summer internship at the Institute of Organic Chemistry PAS. It was a time in my life when I wanted to find the field of chemistry that I like the most. Organic synthesis really appealed to me, the atmosphere at the Institute was friendly and I quickly realised I would like to stay. I joined the team led by Maciej and soon I was introduced to the idea of the review publication. It was the first time I took part in writing a scientific article. It definitely was not easy, but I learned a lot.

Fig. 1, Bond dissociation energies and classes of organic chlorides discussed in our review article.

The past 5 years have witnessed a growing interest in exploring organic chlorides as substrates for photocatalytic synthesis, and a number of protocols have already been reported. In our review article, we summarise the conceptual ideas behind the developed methods and present them in the form of synthetic strategies based on how light energy is accumulated in the catalytic system or the way bond energy in the substrate is reduced. The article is intended to be a practical guide for those researchers who are interested in the light-induced transformations of organic chlorides. We hope it will also help to identify areas that are underdeveloped and inspire further research in this field.

You can read the full story here.

This post was co-authored by Martyna Cybularczyk-Cecotka, Joanna Szczepanik and Maciej Giedyk.

Maciej Giedyk

Assistant Professor, Institute of Organic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences

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