The chemical synthesis of many compounds for applications ranging from materials science to drug discovery rely on components that are sensitive to oxygen and water contained in the atmosphere, and many valuable chemical reagents spoil before they are fully consumed. Stephen Buchwald and colleagues report an encapsulation method that uses paraffin wax to render sensitive compound mixtures stable so that they can be stored on a laboratory bench top. The authors demonstrate this approach in single-use capsules that contain all of the reagents (catalysts, ligands, and bases) necessary for palladium-catalysed carbon−fluorine, carbon−nitrogen, and carbon−carbon bond forming reactions. The strategy described here should be broadly applicable to a wide range of reagents and catalysts, making many more synthetic processes readily available to non-specialist laboratories.
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