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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R014833/1
Title: Asymmetric Catalytic Photochemistry
Principal Investigator: Smith, Dr C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Reading
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 December 2017 Ends: 31 August 2018 Value (£): 99,389
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Asymmetric Chemistry Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Oct 2017 EPSRC Physical Sciences - October 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposed research will investigate a new general approach to Asymmetric Catalytic Photochemistry (ACP) for the synthesis of useful functional molecules such as drugs. Most people are familiar with reactions occurring when a molecule is heated up (e.g. cooking), but different reactions are possible using UV-light (photochemistry) and sunburn is an unfortunate consequence of this. We plan to use the unique reactivity of photochemistry, safely confined in a lightbox, to synthesize new functional molecules and will control the synthesis of these photochemical reactions by adding a small amount of a chiral catalyst to the reaction mixture. This chiral catalyst will allow us to selectively synthesize either right- or left-handed products, i.e. mirror images of each other, simply by changing the catalyst. The controlled synthesis of these handed-molecules is vital for our health and well-being since the enzymes and proteins in our body and pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, selectively react to these chiral molecules. These new molecules that we make could become the drugs and pesticides of the future.

ACP is a multi-disciplinary approach to address deficits in current chiral photochemical methodology and will develop a repeatable and scalable technology platform for further investigations. The ACP concept is particularly 'green' as it requires only small amounts of a chiral catalyst for control and uses UV-light to perform the reaction. This research will be highly significant to both academia and industry as it offers a general approach for the asymmetric synthesis of new functional chiral molecules. This proposal addresses a highly important and challenging concept within organic synthesis and will find immediate applications across synthetic chemistry.

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Organisation Website: http://www.rdg.ac.uk