Over the past few years, isoindoles have found wide application in materials science. Isoindole containing BODIPY dyes are highly fluorescent materials and have been extensively used in various fields of science. Phthalocyanines, metal containing cyclic tetramers of isoindole, form coordination complexes with most elements of the periodic table. These complexes are intensely coloured and are used as pigments and dyes. However, isoindoles are relatively unstable 10π-heteroaromatic systems and few synthetic methods provide these compounds in good yields. This tutorial review will give an overview of the reported synthetic methods towards isoindoles and related heteroaromatic systems over a time span of approximately 10 years (2000 to current), including the applications where they have been reported. The importance of the field will be illustrated and factors influencing product stability will be discussed.
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