Fluorination Chemistry

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Why Fluorination?


The introduction of fluorine into organic compounds has been of great interest for many years, and for good reason.

Fluorine is the most electronegative of the elements and bonds very strongly to most other elements, including carbon, hydrogen and silicon. In combination with its relatively small steric footprint, this means that fluorine atoms can exert powerful effects within molecules and drastically alter their behaviour.

Incorporating fluorine into organic molecules may impart enhanced metabolic stability, binding interaction and biological activity. The physical properties of compounds can also be modified by the introduction of fluorine atoms. These favourable effects lead to a wide range of applications in agrochemicals, polymers, performance fluids and general intermediates for organic synthesis.

Even more impressive is the impact this tiny atom has had on the pharmaceutical industry in recent years. The introduction of fluorine into many medicinal agents makes them more potent and metabolically stable, and can vastly improve selectivity. Because of these properties, a great many of today’s top-selling drugs contain fluorine atoms.

Due to the unique chemical properties of fluorine, its incorporation into molecules has historically been a hazardous process. This has driven the development of a wide range of alternative fluorine sources, known as fluorination reagents.


The need for Development of Specialised Fluorination Reagents


The ‘original’ fluorinating agent was of course fluorine gas – one of the most chemically reactive substances and also a powerful oxidant. Unfortunately, elemental fluorine is also highly toxic and difficult to handle. Add to this the difficulties in controlling reactions involving molecular fluorine, which is extremely strongly oxidising and exhibits virtually no selectivity, and it is easy to see why the need arose for safer, more stable and controllable fluorination reagents.

At Apollo Scientific, we pride ourselves on being fluorine specialists, and we are able to offer a wide range of both fluorinating agents and fluorinated building blocks, a selection of which are presented in this section.



Electrophilic Fluorination

Nucleophilic Fluorination

Fluorination Reagents