- Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Multistep Organic Synthesis of Modular Photosystems” Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2012, 8, 897-904
Quite extensive synthetic achievements vanish in the online supporting information of publications on functional systems. Underappreciated, their value is recognized by experts only. As an example, we here focus in on the recent synthesis of multicomponent photosystems with antiparallel charge-transfer cascades in co-axial hole- and electron-transporting channels. The synthetic steps are described one-by-one, starting with commercial starting materials and moving on to key intermediates, such as asparagusic acid, an intriguing natural product, as well as diphosphonate “feet”, and panchromatic naphthalenediimides (NDIs), to finally reach the target molecules. These products are initiators and propagators for self-organizing surface-initiated polymerization (SOSIP), a new method introduced to secure facile access to complex architectures. Chemoorthogonal to the ring-opening disulfide exchange used for SOSIP, hydrazone exchange is then introduced to achieve stack exchange, which is a “switching” technology invented to drill giant holes into SOSIP architectures and fill them with functional π-stacks of free choice.