Chemistry Organic chemistry


26 Sep 2022
Hokkaido University researchers find a new way of producing the industrially important propylene that is more energy efficient than existing approaches—and in the process turns carbon dioxide into another usable resource. Their pioneering catalyst design thus contributes to the carbon neutralization of the petrochemical industry.
28 Jun 2022
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, find that organic vapors can induce dissolution of molecular salts (i.e., organic deliquescence), similar to water vapor-induced deliquescence
18 Jun 2022
The molecule is unusual and has ‘great potential’ in catalysis, conduction and other applications.
23 May 2022
Tetraphenylammonium, with all four hydrogens of ammonium (NH4+) replaced with benzene rings, has neither been discovered in nature nor chemically synthesized, calling into question whether it could exist. Here, we succeeded in synthesizing tetraphenylammonium for the first time, demonstrating its stable existence. The synthetic strategy used in this study, radical coupling, may be applicable to the synthesis of various related ammoniums with high structural novelty.
Belt topology compared with Möbius topology (top), and the structures of carbon nanobelts with these topologies (bottom; Yasutomo Segawa, et al. Nature Synthesis. May 19, 2022).
19 May 2022
Scientists have synthesized the first belt-shaped molecular nanocarbon with a twisted Möbius band topology—a Möbius carbon nanobelt—that paves the way for the development of nanocarbon materials with complex topological structures.
19 May 2022
Structural color printing creates new pathways for medical diagnostics and miniaturized sensors
21 Apr 2022
A porous material, which opens to receive highly flammable acetylene and closes to release it, sidesteps the flaws of the existing storage method.
14 Mar 2022
Researchers aim to streamline the time- and resource-intensive process of screening ligands during catalyst design by using virtual ligands.
Artistic depiction of electricity enabling the addition of CO2 to heteroaromatic compounds. (Illustration provided by Tsuyoshi Mita)
22 Feb 2022
Using electricity, a new method offers the possibility of recycling CO2 while also performing a notoriously difficult reaction, producing compounds potentially useful for drug development.
(Left) The platinum-cobalt-indium catalyst in powder form; (Right) an electron micrograph of the catalyst (structure in top inset) on cerium oxide (CeO2, structure in bottom inset) support. (Shinya Furukawa).
27 Jan 2022
Researchers have developed an innovative catalyst for the synthesis of propylene, which has potential benefits for the chemical industry and carbon recycling.
Reaction vials being exposed to blue light from an LED (Photo: Yusuke Masuda).
18 Jan 2022
A new method for creating a highly useful chemical subunit eliminates the need for precious metals, potentially leading to the sustainable production of pharmaceuticals and electronics.
Simpler, greener method for producing Grignard reagents
18 Nov 2021
A new method for creating one of chemistry’s most widely used class of compounds could revolutionize industrial processes, making them cheaper, simpler and more environmentally friendly.
A woman ahead of her time- Asima Chatterjee
15 Nov 2021
Giants in History: Indian organic chemist Asima Chatterjee (1917 to 2006) studied the medicinal properties of plant products, especially compounds known as vinca alkaloids.
15 Oct 2021
Researchers from The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science use a machine learning approach to successfully predict material properties that have never before been determined
05 Oct 2021
Researchers in Japan have found an energy-efficient way to convert the chief greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful chemicals. Using the method, CO2 is transformed into structures called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), suggesting a new and simpler route to dispose of the greenhouse gas to help tackle global warming.
28 Sep 2021
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Science Advances a new method for distinguishing between enantiomers, molecules that are mirror images of each other. The procedure, relevant for the pharmaceutical industry, involves the chemical reaction of target enantiomers with color indicator compounds consisting of one-handed helical polymers, leading to solutions showing different colors in specific solvents between the enantiomers.
The chemical structure and solids crystals of calix[3]pyrrole (Photo: Inokuma Laboratory).
16 Sep 2021
A new approach leads to the long-awaited formation of rings made of three pyrroles, which could be used to produce compounds with a host of interesting properties, and explains why they have not been observed before.
The newly developed catalyst in powder form (left) and under a transmission electron microscope (right)
27 Jul 2021
Adding lead and calcium to an industrial catalyst dramatically improves its ability to support propylene production at very high temperatures, making it stable and active for a month.
07 Jul 2021
We have developed a groundbreaking chemical reaction using an N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst that has a low environmental impact to cleave the bond between the benzene ring of an aryl halide and a halogen atom to generate an aryl radical. Since aryl radicals can thus be easily generated from aryl halides that are widely used in organic synthesis, this is expected to be a powerful technology for precisely synthesizing medical and agricultural drugs and chemical materials.
Ball-milling the mixture of polystyrene and pre-fluorescent radical reactants yielded luminescent polymers. Photos show the mixture before (left) and after (right) the reaction, under UV light.
11 Jun 2021
Hokkaido University researchers have developed a simple method that converts existing generic polymers into luminescent polymers using mechanical force.
1,3-Diradicals Embedded in Curved Paraphenylene Units: Singlet versus Triplet State
09 Jun 2021
Chemical rings of carbon and hydrogen atoms curve to form relatively stable structures capable of conducting electricity and more — but how do these curved systems change when new components are introduced? Researchers based in Japan found that, with just a few sub-atomic additions, the properties can pivot to vary system states and behaviors, as demonstrated through a new synthesized chemical compound.
02 Jun 2021
Scientists have found a way to make hydrogen move faster through a solid material at cooler temperatures, paving the way for more sustainable and practical energy storage devices.
Insoluble reactants are hardly reactive in solution, but may react in solvent-free systems using ball milling to drive chemical reactions in the solid state
18 May 2021
Scientists from Hokkaido University have developed a rapid, efficient protocol for cross-coupling reactions, vastly expanding the pool of chemicals that can be used for the synthesis of useful organic compounds.
03 Mar 2021
Osaka City University finds that the chemical sesaminol, naturally occurring in sesame seeds, protects against Parkinson’s disease by preventing neuronal damage that decreases the production of dopamine. In vitro experiments show sesaminol handle oxidative stress in cells by regulating the production of reactive oxygen species and the movement of antioxidants. In vivo experiments reveal that a diet of sesaminol increases production of dopamine and significantly improve motor functions in mice.
20 Aug 2020
A new catalyst design enables unprecedented control over the modification of fatty acid derivatives that opens the door to creating useful substances in a green and efficient manner.
14 Aug 2020
In catalytic reactions with organocatalysts, it is difficult to control radical reactions. We designed a thiazolium-type N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst having an N-neopentyl group. This catalyst was found to actively control radical reactions and enabled production of more than 35 species of bulky dialkyl ketones from an aliphatic aldehyde and an aliphatic carboxylic acid derivative through a radical relay mechanism. This catalyst is expected to open the way for acceleration of drug discovery research.
28 May 2020
The generation of alkyl radicals was achieved by direct visible-light excitation of the organoborate complex, which was designed and synthesized from “boracene,” which has a boron atom in the tetracene-like skeleton. The alkyl radicals thus obtained could be used as a carbon source for chemical reactions, enabling the synthesis of complicated/bulky organic compounds. The present study offers a new protocol for organic synthesis, which is expected to accelerate e.g. drug discovery.
13 May 2020
Hydrogen fuel cells made with coordination polymer glass membranes could produce as much energy as their liquid-based counterparts while adding strength and flexibility.
05 Mar 2020
Molecular changes could improve the efficiency of next-generation photovoltaics.
Palladium nanoparticles in reaction mixtures
08 Feb 2019
Adding olefin enables efficient solvent-free cross-coupling reactions, leading to environmentally friendly syntheses of a wide range of organic materials.


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Associate Prof. Yusuke Ishigaki is a chemist at Hokkaido University, Japan. He works on the creation of fundamental chemistry based on original molecular design.
Dr. Omachi is Associate Professor, Research Center for Materials Science, Nagoya University