Welcome to the France-Japan joint symposium on organofluorine chemistry

Strasbourg
 

Most properties of fluorine (F2) and fluorinated organic products derive from the dual character of fluorine element: i) so reactive, on the one hand, it could not be isolated as the F2 molecule, nor be found in nature for centuries and ii) yielding, on the other hand, very stable bonding with almost all other elements, especially with carbon.

Fluorine has ceased to be considered as a laboratory curiosity since the discovery of Henri Moissan.  At that time, about 150 years ago, nobody could imagine the importance of this discovery for man’s future life.  Indeed, despite being absent from natural products and biological processes, fluorine plays an increasingly important, if not pivotal, role in numerous areas of our daily life.  Decades of chemical research have shown that the fluorine atom and fluorine-containing motifs profoundly impact the structure, reactivity and function of organic molecules.  Fluorine-containing organic compounds are nowadays synthesized in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, polymers and electronics researches on a routine basis.  As an example, it is well established that fluorine atom(s) and/or fluoroalkyl group(s) can lead to many beneficial effects in biologically active molecules, such as enhanced metabolic stability, bioavailability, lipophilicity and membrane permeability, as well as a strengthening of protein-ligand binding interactions. A logical consequence of these highly desirable properties is that more than 200 pharmaceuticals and 155 agrochemicals (among the 920 registered) containing at least one fluorine atom are currently on the market, which accounts for approximately 25% of the bioactive compounds.  Material sciences are also deeply impacted by fluorine, as exemplified by the annual growth rate of the fluoropolymer field estimated at 6.5% through 2016.

In the past decade, organofluorine chemistry has greatly expanded with insightful contributions from —among others— French and Japanese research groups aiming at developing novel synthetic methods and reagents.  This led to highly efficient processes that opened new avenues for the academic and industrial communities.  Indeed, the organofluorine chemistry field is still developing at a rapid pace and many other decisive discoveries are to be expected.

This forum aims at offering an area to discuss current and future challenges, ranging from new syntheses, reactivity mechanisms, outstanding physical and chemical properties to industrial applications, and illustrate how fluorine and fluorinated organic products may have strong positive impacts on various aspects of modern life, such as new drugs, health care, agrochemicals, catalytic processes, etc.  This forum could also represent the perfect opportunity to plant the seeds of future collaborations between French and Japanese communities of this research field.

 

Frédéric LEROUX, Norio SHIBATA & Kazuhiko SAIGO (Chairmen of JSPS-Fluorine)

 

 

 

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