Photochemical reactions initiated by light hold unparalleled promise for building complex molecular architectures and accessing challenging synthetic targets. In the past, with the exception of a few landmark syntheses, synthetic organic photochemistry was grossly underutilized by the synthetic community, although the recent explosion in photoredox catalysis gives hope that synthetic chemists are warming up to the idea that photochemistry could offer useful day-to-day tools for the synthetic chemistry toolbox. Still diversity-oriented synthesis (DOS) and combichem remain the areas where photochemical methods are blissfully absent. We are developing novel photoassisted synthetic methodologies, enabling us to gain rapid access to a number of new drug-like molecules, primarily complex nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur-containing heterocycles.
The ongoing revolution in metal-catalyzed sp2-sp2 coupling is blamed for biasing synthetic effort at the bench and "steering discovery efforts toward achiral, aromatic compounds" while natural products, possessing a broad spectrum of bioactivity, look nothing like the sp2-dominated aromatic heterocycles. Our photoassisted synthetic methodology aims to generate a variety of unique (poly)heterocyclic core scaffolds containing high number of sp3 carbons (see Lovering's Fsp3 saturation parameter) and possessing very few rotatable bonds.
Not unimportant is the fact that photochemical steps use light as a reagent, and therefore could be environmentally friendly.