• Top from left: Dr. Eric P. Śliwiński, Francesco Mariani, Dr. Gina Musio; bottom from left: Dr. Mikhail A. Kabeshov, Hiro Odajima, Professor Steven V. Ley (University of Cambridge, UK)

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Augmented Reality as an Enabling Tool in Organic Chemistry

Steven V. Ley shows how augmented reality can be used as an enabling tool in organic chemistry.

Combination of Enabling Technologies to Improve and Describe the Stereoselectivity of Wolff–Staudinger Cascade Reaction: B. Musio, F. Mariani, E. P. Śliwiński, M. A. Kabeshov, H. Odajima, S. V. Ley
Synthesis 2016, 48, DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1562579

Augmented Reality (AR) has become very popular and brings immediately to mind those virtual little monsters that so many youngsters (and adults too…) fancy chasing, armed solely with their mobile phone and a pair of trainers. However, AR may be now coming of age also as a research tool in chemistry, judging from the pioneering work which has been recently published by Professor Steven V. Ley and co-workers from the University of Cambridge (UK).
Although the work is mostly focused on the optimization of a microwave-assisted flow-generation of ketenes and their conversion into trans-β-lactams by a Wolff–Staudinger cascade reaction, the distinctive feature of this article is the use of AR as a tool for facilitating the interpretation of computed data, such as the visualization of 3D molecular structures sitting on a reaction energy profile. This can be achieved by means of a new web-based molecular viewer – available at the link https://github.com/es605/HTMoLAR. Detailed instructions on how to use the AR tool are provided in the Synthesis paper. 

  • Microwave-assisted Wolff–Staudinger strategy with formation of β-lactams

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Professor Ley commented: “I feel that using a combined armory of some new enabling technologies many synergistic benefits accrue by taking a more holistic modern approach to a chemical synthesis problem.” 

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