From: Katherine Kornei via University of California - Los Angeles
Published May 23, 2017 02:34 PM

New chemical reaction developed at UCLA could eventually yield new fuels and medications

When scientists develop the chemical formulas for new products such as fuels and medications, they often must first create molecules that haven’t previously existed.

A basic step toward creating new molecules is selectively breaking and re-forming the chemical bonds that connect the atoms that make them up. One of the chief challenges is that the bond between carbon and hydrogen atoms — the building blocks of many molecules — is exceptionally strong, so chemists often have to resort to using rare and expensive chemicals like iridium to convert it into other, more useful types of chemical bonds. Scientists refer to this process as “functionalizing” the bonds.

Now, a team of UCLA chemists has developed a new technique for breaking carbon–hydrogen bonds and making carbon–carbon bonds. The approach uses catalysts made of two abundant and inexpensive elements, silicon and boron. Their research was published in Science.

Continue reading at University of California - Los Angeles

Image: A new technique created by Brian Shao, Alex Bagdasarian, Stasik Popov and Hosea Nelson (from left) allows complex molecules to be assembled in fewer steps than previously possible. (Credit: Penny Jennings)

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