Flow Chemistry – Synthesis

As chemists we have become increasingly focussed on coupling larger poly-functional fragments in order to generate complexity in a (molecular) system, often overlooking the multistep processes needed to prepare the requisite coupling fragments ready for the key transformation.

With regard to efficiency and waste minimisation, as well as advancing chemical knowledge on a fundamental level, there is a real need to return to simpler primary coupling partners to explore diversity (the prebiotic approach) and maximise the potential of small molecule assembly through new reaction manifolds and strategies.

Flow chemistry is the tool of choice to address these aims since the machinery tolerates wide temperature and pressure ranges, and volatile, noxious and hazardous species can be readily contained. Hitherto inaccessible species can be generated, monitored and exploited. As a result, multistep/multicomponent assembly processes can be engineered by capitalising upon in-line monitoring techniques that enable accurate and reproducible reactions of highly reactive chemical entities by the controlled interception of flow streams.

Developing automated and/or machine-assisted processes for fully utilising substances and reactive intermediates that we cannot easily harness, process and exploit using conventional laboratory techniques is one of our main goals.

We have a diverse programme that for unveiling the potential of flow chemistry and the flow reactor environment for reaction discovery, development and utilisation.