We propose a wide-ranging and ambitious programme of work that looks to develop new synthetic chemistry in the areas of catalytic decarboxylation and C-H bond activation. The discovery of new catalyst systems that can selectively manipulate unreactive C-H bonds represents a major area of research in synthetic chemistry. Whilst C-H activation is one of the most active areas of current research, it remains in its infancy with respect to regio and stereo-control, green chemistry concerns and applications to demanding synthetic targets. We will address these and other issues by developing a range of new C-H and X-H activation reaction systems that work in the decarboxylative regime. Carboxylic acids have superb potential as starting materials for chemical processes, being cheap, readily available in thousands of permutations and very safe and convenient to handle. The potential of acids as precursors to organo-transition metal species in catalytic cycles is only recently being appreciated. We aim to design new, metal-catalysed reactions of carboxylates that can lead to step changes in efficiency and atom economy for chemical synthesis.
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