Synthesis of new molecules is a fundamental technology that is critical to the development and manufacturing of materials for many applications. Unfortunately, synthesis can often be a challenging endeavor. In some cases, the fundamental reactions that would lead to product are known in principle, but it is not clear how to combine them in a way that maximizes synthetic efficiency.
Our multidisciplinary university research initiative's mission is to transform the way that synthetic chemistry is performed, both by providing chemists with a powerful automated toolset for reaction discovery and synthesis planning, and by significantly expanding our knowledge of molten salt and photochemical reactions. The tight and two-way coupling between theory and experiment being pursued in this work is part of what we view as a much larger paradigm shift that is presently blurring the lines between strictly observational or predictive approaches to chemistry and physics. The toolset and domain knowledge gained during this project will likely lead to breakthrough synthetic pathways with applications in photomechanical and mechanochemical systems.