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New horizons in organo-fluorine chemistry

Final Report Summary - HORIZONCF (New horizons in organo-fluorine chemistry)

The key achievements were the substantial development of new materials and concepts in organofluorine chemistry.
A highlight was the synthesis of highly polarised, yet hydrophobic, fluorocyclohexane ring systems. This involved the discovery of a new class of molecular motif, which has not previously been developed internationally. We have incorporated these into liquid crystalline materials, and have made analogues of market leading agrochemical products and some pharmaceuticals derivatives. Representatives of this class of molecule are being marketed by Fluorochem Ltd. We anticipate that the all-cis tetrafluorocyclohexane motif will gain in popularity and become a useful motif in organic chemistry discovery programmes.

In addition we have successfully synthesised all cis-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexafluorocyclohexane. This is a landmark molecule. It appears to be the most polar organic molecule every characterised as determined by Dipole moment. This is because three C-F bonds have been engineered, to run parallel within the molecule. So the ERC programme has allowed us to explore some very fundamental aspects of organo-fluorine chemisty.

Other aspects of the research programme focused on the CF2 group, and we were able to demonstrate how the CF2 group can influence the conformation of large molecular alicyclic rings. This has progressed to a programme wehere we are now exploring musk lactones carrying the CF2 group, and determining if specific locations of the CF2 group influence the intensity of the fragrance.

More generally t work has led to current interactions with companies in the major chemicals sectors of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and organic materials. The science pursued through the programme was rather fundamental, but there are real prospects for employing the developments in commercial research programmes into the future.