Metal-Free Trifluoromethylthiolation of Alkyl Electrophiles

Fluorine atoms can have profound effects on bioactive molecules. Trifluoromethylthio groups can impart many desirable properties, such as higher metabolic stability and increased lipophilicity. According to Professor Lukas Gooßen from the Kaiserslautern University of Technology (Germany), “the chemical community has become aware of the importance of fluorinated compounds in recent years, and the development of convenient trifluoromethylation reactions that can be employed by synthetic organic chemists without special training is currently one of the most topical fields in method development.” In recent years, the focus of medicinal and agrochemistry has expanded to include fluoroalkylthio groups whose properties often surpass those of the corresponding fluoroalkyl moieties. The introduction of trifluoromethylthio groups is still viewed as an unsolved problem that justifies the use of even the most elaborate reagents. This fact attracted Professor Gooßen’s interest to search for a straight-forward synthetic approach for the introduction of fluoroalkylthio groups into functionalized molecules.

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