Dynamic Diselenide Bonds: Exchange Reaction Induced by Visible Light

  Dynamic covalent bonds have been widely used in dynamic combinatorial chemistry. Among them, disulfide bonds and their dynamic metathesis reactions are extensively investigated and utilized. However, the dynamic chemistry of selenium, which is also the same family of sulfur, has been rarely studied. With the financial support of National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Basic Research Program of China, Huaping Xu et al. from Tsinghua University have made important advances in the research of the dynamic chemistry of diselenide bonds. The metathesis reactions of disulfide bonds require catalysis or UV light, while for diselenide bonds, only visible light is needed, which is a quite mild condition. By further investigations, the exchange reactions are assumed to undergo a radical mechanism as they exhibit dependence on light. And the reaction can be conducted in different solvents including protic solvents. Diselenide metathesis can also be used to synthesize diselenide-containing asymmetric block copolymers. This work includes diselenide bonds into dynamic covalent bonds, develops a dynamic exchange reaction in mild condition and further extends selenium-related dynamic chemistry. The research article was published on Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201403442, and has been highlighted as “Hot Paper”.