Development of a multistep, electrochemical flow platform for automated catalyst screening†
The development of an integrated multistep flow platform that incorporates high-throughput electrochemical synthesis of metal catalysts and catalysis screening is described. Ligand libraries can be screened through the implementation of an autosampler, and online HPLC analysis facilitates continuous monitoring of the reaction. The equipment is controlled via a computer which enables the process to be automated, with the platform running ligand/catalysis screens autonomously. The platform has been validated using a ubiquitous Cu–NHC catalysed click reaction, with conditions chosen so that the reaction does not run at full conversion, which allows the effect of different ligand precursors to be observed. An efficient cleaning step is crucial to the reproducibility of reactions, and alternating polarity ensures the long-term stability of the electrochemical reactor. This technology will enable the profiling of catalysts in continuous systems and accelerate the process of developing more sustainable base-metal catalysts in manufacturing processes.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bioorthogonal and click chemistry: Celebrating the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry