Chemical compounds

Chemists at Oregon State University have discovered a less costly, more efficient way to make ‘biaryl’ compounds.


Biaryl compounds are used in liquid crystal displays, computer monitors and even therapeutic drugs. But the new approach to making these organic molecules could expand their range of uses, the researchers say.


Using the method, the researchers have already produced siamenol, an agent being studied as a possible AIDS drug.


According to Rich Carter, an associate professor of chemistry at OSU, the current technique for making biaryl compounds is a fairly basic chemical reaction, but it’s expensive, requires the use of heavy metals and also reduces the possible function of the resulting compounds.


The new approach uses what is called a ‘Diels-Alder Approach’ to make the biaryls, a type of chemical reaction whose discovery formed the basis for a Nobel Prize in 1950. However, this reaction had rarely been used to make biaryl compounds before.


The approach uses no solvents or heavy metals as some other processes do, and because of that, it is environmentally friendly.