Gold Catalyst

Gold is a precious metal and looks great in a ring. How about a benzene ring? Biaryls, compounds containing two directly connected benzene rings, frequently feature in pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals as well as forming the core of many functional materials (for example LEDs, liquid crystals, conducting polymers). A new way to prepare biaryls – compounds that are essential building blocks in the creation of drugs and many modern materials such as LEDs – using gold as a catalyst is described by researchers from the University of Bristol in this week’s edition of Science. Gold catalysis is easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than current methods which use palladium as a catalyst.

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