CORDIS - EU research results

A Unified Route to Polycyclic Terpenes

Project description

A shorter path for the synthesis of polycyclic terpenes

Xanthates comprise a class of organic salts formed by the treatment of an alcohol with carbon disulfide in the presence of an alkali. These organosulphur compounds are versatile intermediates in organic synthesis. The EU-funded Route2polyTepr project will demonstrate how xanthates could significantly shorten the synthesis path of synthetic polycyclic terpenes and terpene alkaloids. Xanthates enable the formation of new carbon–carbon bonds on unactivated alkenes as well as the formation of rings that are impossible to achieve with other methods. The project will generate new knowledge on xanthates' potential in radical reactions (powerful carbon–carbon bond-forming processes).


In this proposal we would like to demonstrate the strategic role that xanthates could play in providing a unified approach to a multitude of polycyclic terpenes and in shortening considerably the synthetic routes. By enabling the strategic intermolecular creation of new carbon-carbon bonds on unactivated alkenes and the formation of rings not readily accessible by other methods, the degenerative radical exchange of xanthates opens numerous synthetic avenues not hitherto available. Unusual retrosynthetic disconnections will now be envisaged, and it is hoped that a unified, short, and practical route to numerous classes of polycyclic terpenes and terpene alkaloids can be implemented. Demonstration of the advantage of using xanthate transfer to the synthesis of polycyclic terpenes will bring the academic’s attention to novel applications of radical reactions, promoting the development in the area.


Net EU contribution
€ 184 707,84
91128 Palaiseau Cedex

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Essonne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 184 707,84