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The relative difficulty of achieving the direct formation of Csp2–Csp2 bonds through “conventional” organic chemistry was well-appreciated at the time that pioneering studies of cross-coupling reactions began to emerge about 40 years ago. Nevertheless, the chemistry community was surprisingly slow to embrace the seminal discoveries of Heck, Negishi, and Suzuki (along with so many other important early contributors).

During the past 15 years, that situation has changed dramatically, as evidenced by the recognition of the field with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010. Thus, more versatile and active catalysts have been developed for the classic bond-forming processes of Heck, Negishi, Suzuki, and others, and these have now been applied across many disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, and materials science) and in large-scale manufacturing. Equally importantly, others areas of investigation have emerged: couplings that achieve the formation of C–N (Buchwald–Hartwig reaction) and other C–heteroatom bonds, as well as cross-couplings of alkyl electrophiles, direct arylations of C–H bonds…the list goes on.

Books such as the present one, New Trends in Cross-Coupling: Theory and Applications, can play a critical role by assessing where the field currently stands and by pointing to the unsolved challenges that represent the future of the field. In this monograph, Dr Colacot has assembled leaders who do exactly that, describing not only the remarkable progress that has been achieved to date, but also the wealth of exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

Gregory Fu

About Greg Fu

After earning a PhD from Harvard in 1991 under the guidance of Prof. David A. Evans, and post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. Robert H. Grubbs at Caltech, in 1993, Greg Fu joined MIT, as a faculty member. In 2012, he was appointed the Altair Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology.

Greg received the Corey Award of the American Chemical Society in 2004, the Mukaiyama Award of the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry of Japan in 2006, and the Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 2012. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. Greg serves as an associate editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. His current research interests include metal-catalyzed coupling reactions and the design of chiral catalysts. His work on “bulky, electron-rich” in 1998 was an important milestone the area of cross-coupling.

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