Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Organic chemist developing environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis

Date:
August 5, 2013
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
Organic chemists are investigating the development of environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis.

Nan Zheng, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas, has received a $550,000 Faculty Early Career Development Program award through the National Science Foundation to further his research in chemical reactions sparked by visible light.

Specifically, Zheng is investigating the development of environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis. The class of organic compounds known as amines is an important building block for pharmaceuticals.

Most organic compounds can't readily absorb visible light. Instead, organic chemists typically rely on ultraviolet, or UV light, which has disadvantages in photochemistry, a branch of chemistry concerned with the chemical effects of light. Zheng and his research team use visible light from commercial fluorescent light bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to promote chemical reactions. Zheng calls this process "green" or "sustainable" chemistry.

"In sustainable chemistry, we want to create new reactions so that we can create a new molecule," Zheng said. "There is a lot of room here to discover new reactivity, in addition to the green nature of this whole process."

Zheng is particularly interested in challenges in processing new reactivity of amines.

"There is a problem with using visible light, which excites and moves electrons around to make the chemistry occur; most amines cannot absorb visible light efficiently," he said. "We are zeroing in on using a catalyst to funnel the energy of the visible light to the amine."

Zheng's research team uses ruthenium and iridium complexes, metals bound to organic molecules that are active in the presence of visible light, as catalysts to promote chemical reactions in a range of organic molecules, including amines, which are common in bioactive compounds and pharmaceuticals.

Their preliminary research has shown that using visible light as an energy source with these catalysts has created new chemical reactions in amines, Zheng said.

"The neutral amine molecule is the starting material and it is unreactive to visible light," he said. "Upon oxidation, which is the loss of one electron in the amine, it is converted into an amine radical cation, which is very reactive and then triggers reactions leading to new molecules that can be potentially used in drug discovery. The end product is potentially useful."

Under the NSF grant, Zheng seeks to continue developing more new reactions through this type of green chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Organic chemist developing environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805133628.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2013, August 5). Organic chemist developing environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805133628.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Organic chemist developing environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805133628.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins