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A pair of researchers at Purdue University has found a way to use a diatomic Ni-Ni catalyst to synthesize cyclopentenes. In their paper published in the journal Science, You-Yun Zhou and Christopher Uyeda describe their method and outline why they believe cyclopentene products would be useful. Keywan Johnson and Daniel Weix with the University of Wisconsin have published a Perspective piece in the same journal issue describing the work done by the team in Indiana.
Johnson and Weix note that the discovery of new molecules lies behind many of the new materials that scientists have created over the years. One of the ways that new molecules are discovered is by observing them in nature and then synthesizing them in a lab. They note also that transition metal catalysis has been widely used to synthesize many new molecules that are currently used in a wide variety of products. They further note that the majority of transition metal catalysis involves the use of just one metal atom, but there have been exceptions in which catalysts have a two-metal atom core. In this new effort, the researchers used a diatomic Ni-Ni catalyst to carry out stereo-controlled synthesis of cyclopentenes (rings made of...
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