Furans and singlet oxygen – why there is more to come from this powerful partnership
The purpose of this article is to give a taste of just how powerful the union between furans and photochemically-generated singlet oxygen is proving to be as a synthetic tool and to suggest that this chemistry is only now really coming of age. In attempting to achieve this goal, its progress from mechanistic curiosity to rapidly maturing applied science will be followed. It will be shown how the field has reached a point where the diversity of product structures attainable is expanding all the time at a tremendous pace and how this expansion allows for a wide variety of important developments from the discovery of new materials and methods for DNA-crosslinking, to the delineation of more sustainable synthetic technologies. To begin with, however, we look briefly at the investigations of the pioneers who laid all the necessary foundations by unravelling the reactions' key characteristics and then we will move on to show how their crucial work has been exploited and applied in increasingly creative ways over the years that have followed.