Photochemistry

Rapid Access to Diverse Structures

Services   I   Technical Expertise

Photochemistry has seen a resurgence in recent years, primarily due to the discovery of photoredox catalysts and their uses in generating non-traditional reaction pathways to give structurally diverse and complex architectures, useful for the medicinal chemistry.¹

However, the use of light to promote a molecule into its electronically excited state and then undergo a transformation into a new product is a concept that has been known for centuries.²

High Force Research have recently demonstrated the relatively large-scale synthesis of a complex natural product, vitamin D3, via photochemical methods.³ Initially utilising our 2 litre batch equipment for research and development purposes, we were able to synthesise 10 g batches of vitamin D3, allowing us to gain a fundamental knowledge of the reaction parameters.

However, batch photochemistry is restricted in terms of its scalability due to problems associated with the incomplete absorption of photons as dictated by the Beer-Lambert Law. This leads to long and unrealistic reaction times upon scale-up.

Photochemistry Conducted at HFR

Photochemical synthesis of Vitamin D3

1. Shaw, M. H. J. Org. Chem., 2016, 81, 6898, Photoredox Catalysis in Organic Chemistry, Acc. Chem. Res., 2016, themed issue, Bogdos, M. K, Pinnard, E, Murphy, J. A, Beilstein J. Org. Chem., 2018, 14, 2035.
2. Roth, H. D. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Eng., 1989, 28, 1193.
3. The production of Vitamin D3 is a commercial process, typically producing kg/day. We have used this conversion as a demonstration of HFR’s capabilities.

In order to circumvent this issue, HFR have designed a purpose-built flow reactor for the continuous photochemical synthesis of complex structures. This has been demonstrated by the relatively large-scale synthesis of Vitamin D3 (productivity >12 litres/day/lamp).

This setup has the benefits of not requiring external cooling due to the short residency time at the light source, increased photon absorption (>90% light captured) and is easily scalable by numbering up of reactors.

Photochemical Conversion

High Force Research can now offer photochemistry services to the synthetic chemistry community, utilising both batch and flow equipment with variable light sources, for the synthesis of diverse and structurally complex molecules.

If you have a project in mind then please contact us and talk to one of our team.

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High Force Research can now offer photochemistry services to the synthetic chemistry community, utilising both batch and flow equipment with variable light sources, for the synthesis of diverse and structurally complex molecules.