Prof. Richard D. Chambers, FRS
(email at email@example.com)
Research Interests - Fluorine-Containing Organic Compounds.
A major activity of chemists in academia and in industry is the search for 'special-effect' compounds, that is, compounds with novel chemistry and novel effects that may be utilised by industry. Introduction of fluorine into an organic compound provides a particularly effective and wide-ranging approach to providing such novelty.
With minor exceptions, it is true to say that compounds containing carbon-fluorine bonds do not occur in nature, but there is a unique relationship between hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon based systems because, in principle, it is possible to introduce C-F bonds either singly or multiply into an organic compound and thus a potentially vast extension to organic chemistry is available. Entirely novel chemistry results and an ever increasing role in industry is developing. Durham is very well equipped to work in this area, having a excellent range of relevant facilities and a long-standing international reputation in the area.
Current projects include:-
Here we are exploring the complementary relationship between the role of F-, in reactions with unsaturated fluorocarbons, and the proton in its reactions with unsaturated hydrocarbons.
An extensive chemistry is emerging, that includes oligomerisation reactions, rearrangements, polyfluoroalkylation processes, and generation of observable carbanions.
Novel Heterocyclic Systems
We have developed routes to a wide range of novel heterocyclic systems and we are exploring the chemistry of these compounds, including palladium chemistry.
Use of Elemental Fluorine in Synthesis
Elemental fluorine has been undervalued as a reagent for the direct introduction of fluorine into an organic compound and much effort is now being made in this area, in collaboration with BNFL Fluorochemicals Ltd. Development of microreactor techniques for use in this area is especially relevant.
The C-H bond may be used as a functional group in the synthesis of fluorinated systems by reactions with unsaturated fluorine containing compounds. A very wide range of new systems may be synthesised this way.
- Reactions Involving Fluoride Ion. Part 47. Reactions of perfluorobicycloalkenes, R.D. Chambers and T.Nakamura, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 2001, 398.
- Free radical chemistry. Part 11. Additions of cyclic and acyclic alcohols to hexafluoropropene, R.D. Chambers, P. Diter, S.N.Dunn, C.Farren, G.Sandford, A.S. Batsanov, and J.A.K. Howard, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1997, 135.
- Elemental fluorine. Part 12. Fluorination of 1,4-disubstituted aromatic compounds, R.D. Chambers, J. Hutchinson, M. Sparrowhawk, G. Sandford, J.S.Moilliet, and J. Thomson, J.FluorineChem., 2000, 102, 169.
- Polyhalogenated heterocyclic compounds. Part 42. Fluorinated nitrogen heterocycles with unusual substitution patterns. R.D. Chambers, C.W.Hall, J.Hutchinson, and R. W.Millar, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1998, 1705.