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Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry - selection based approach to catalysis

Final Activity Report Summary - CAMCAT (Dynamic combinatorial chemistry - selection based approach to catalysis)

This project was to be the first step towards selection-based generation of catalytic systems, whereby potent catalysts are not designed by a simple trial-and-error approach. Instead a mixture of building blocks is allowed to assemble into various diverse structures, and the one most suited to deal with the reaction in question is selected. This rapidly emerging field is known as dynamic combinatorial chemistry.

The first step was to make building blocks with the extra functionality required for catalysis. Previously the available building blocks were very limited in functionality and their combinations ("libraries") could only perform very simple reactions. In this project highly reactive metal ions were for the first time introduced into dynamic libraries, thereby greatly increasing the number of reactions that can potentially be performed.

Another important achievement was the combination of two extremely timely and scientific fields: namely organocatalysis and dynamic combinatorial chemistry. By synthesising a building block containing a core based on the amino acid proline, which could also participate in libraries, new aspects in organocatalysis were explored. The use of this building block both in dynamic combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput catalyst synthesis was explored.