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Success Story

A Si-based Cross-coupling Technology for Production of Intermediates of Pharmaceuticals and Organic Materials for Molecular Electronics


With the aim of making a contribution to society based on technology developed by Kyoto University, the university’s Innovative Collaboration Center (ICC) is making a concentrated effort to promote technology transfer and collaborative research with both domestic and overseas industries.

One recent example of such technology transfer is the ICC’s licensing of a simple organic synthetic technology that can be used for the production of intermediates for pharmaceuticals and organic materials for molecular electronics. The technology was licensed to Advanced Molecular Technologies Pty Ltd. (AMT), an Australian specialist chemical company.

figThis innovative technology involves the so-called fluoride-free silicon (Si)-based cross-coupling reaction invented by Prof. T. Hiyama and Assistant Prof. Y. Nakao at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Engineering. The key features of this synthetic method are easy preparation and handling, stability, chemoselectivity, and no-toxicity associated with organosilicon compounds. Additionally, the Si-based reagent is able to be recovered and re-used.

Recent advances in cross-coupling methodologies have made a significant contribution to organic synthesis as well as pharmaceutical and agricultural chemistry. It is anticipated that prominent researchers in the field of cross-coupling chemistry will receive a world-class award in the near future. Numerous Japanese researchers, including several from Kyoto University, have been involved in discoveries and innovations in this field (March 31, 2009).

As for cross coupling reactions, today, the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Dr. Richard F. Heck (University of Delaware, USA), Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi (Purdue University, USA), and Dr. Akira Suzuki (Hokkaido University, Japan) for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis. Congratulations for all of them ! (October 6, 2010).