My top 10 chemistry papers of 2013

Having already contributed to the top 10 chemistry blog posts of 2013 over at The Sceptical Chymist, I thought I would highlight my top 10 chemistry publications of the year here. Current trendy chemistry seems to be nano-blah blah and MOFs but I am a flow/organic/process chemist so papers on these themes appear on the list below.

1) The most interesting and exciting publication of the year has to be Fujita’s Nature Article on X-ray analysis using porous complexes. This allows the determination of crystal structures without the need for crystallization of the actual sample molecules.

2) Baran’s Ingenol paper, in one of those luxury journals, was pretty darn impressive! Only 14 steps with cheap starting materials. The man is a legend.

3) As someone that works on catalytic processes, it was great to see Milstein publish an efficient method for the synthesis of carboxylic acids, without the need for stoichiometric amounts of toxic metals. It is always good to see publications describing a new method for a simple but valuable process.

4) You can always rely on MacMillan for a good read. This publication on the one-step synthesis of Plavix was no different.

5) If chemists can find an efficient way of capturing and utilizing CO2, the planet would be much happier. This publication on the Ni-catalysed direct carboxylation of benzyl halides with carbon dioxide is a great example of how we can use carbon dioxide to make synthetically useful building blocks.

6) My favourite fluorine paper of the year was this Science paper on the synthesis of fluorinated natural products using synthetic biology. I always enjoy reading inter-disciplinary work and this was no different.

7) My research is in chiral amine synthesis so this publication on the reduction of amides to amines was immediately appealing to me. The paper describes the reduction of primary, secondary and tertiary amides using a commercially available, air and moisture tolerant non-metal catalyst. Very cool.

8) I am always partial to a flow chemistry paper. Anything from the Ley, Jamison and Seeberger groups is worth reading but this recent overview of how to apply flow chemistry by Seeberger and McQuade really caught my eye.

9) The award for scariest paper of the year (as highlighted over at In the Pipeline) has to go to this work on mercury azides.

10) Interested in sustainable/green chemistry? Then the Sanofi solvent selection guide is one for you. I find OPRD to be a bit hit or miss at times but this is actually a super reference guide.

So this is my top 10. What is yours? Use the #chemclub2013 hashtag (sorry for stealing your hashtag, Andrew) on twitter to share your favourite paper of 2013!

12 thoughts on “My top 10 chemistry papers of 2013

  1. Some papers are really good. Others are just a bit dull. I find some to be hmmmm a little dry. I know it is supposed to be of more interest to industrial groups but they could try and educate and excite non process people. Am I hoping for too much?

  2. Pingback: My top something papers of 2013 | Labsolutely

    • This correction is logical and indicates that their data are much worse than they thought; but this can sometimes be dealt with and is still much better than no X-ray data. Much worse is that this work seems to be practically impossible to reproduce.

      Both problems are, however, consistent with the known crystallographic properties of large-pore MOFs.

  3. Referring to you #5, above. How efficient is, say, a tree in converting CO2 to a useful building block? In your opinion, could organic chemists create a process which provides more useful building blocks than wood, and more efficiently?

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