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Special Issue "Recent Development on Metal-Free Catalysis"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Organic Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Huixin He

Rutgers Department of Chemistry, Rutgers—Newark, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey 07103, United States
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanoscale chemistry; microwave chemistry; electrochemistry
Guest Editor
Prof. Ning Ma

Department of Chemistry, School of Science, Tianjin University
Website | E-Mail
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; green chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Metal-free catalysis has emerged as important alternative to metal catalysis in the past few decades. Metals, especially some transition metals, are toxic, expensive, rare, and not eco-friendly, which also make them non-sustainable. Therefore, there are increasing needs for more green catalysts without metals. The utility of metal-free catalysts can partially overcome some drawbacks of metal catalysts. Furthermore, in some cases, metal-free catalysis has more advantages, such as unique performance, selectivity, recyclability and substrate tolerance.

In this Special Issue we welcome the submission about all scopes of metal-free catalysts, including but not restricted to carbon-based nanomaterials, small organic molecules, organic/inorganic polymers and other organic/inorganic nanomaterials. The utility of the catalysts includes organic/inorganic chemical reactions, photocatalysis, environmental reactions, etc. The reaction products could be either organics or inorganics. We are hoping your contribution to this issue, which we think will give comprehensive understanding on the metal-free catalysis for the readers interested in these domains.

Prof. Huixin He
Prof. Ning Ma
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • metal-free catalysis
  • nanomaterials
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • photocatalysis
  • environmental pollution control

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessCommunication Transition-Metal-Free C(sp3)–H Oxidation of Diarylmethanes
Molecules 2018, 23(8), 1922; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23081922
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
PDF Full-text (724 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
An efficient direct C(sp3)–H oxidation of diarylmethanes has been demonstrated by this study. This method employs environment-friendly O2 as an oxidant and is promoted by commercially available MN(SiMe3)2 [M = K, Na or Li], which provides a facile method
[...] Read more.
An efficient direct C(sp3)–H oxidation of diarylmethanes has been demonstrated by this study. This method employs environment-friendly O2 as an oxidant and is promoted by commercially available MN(SiMe3)2 [M = K, Na or Li], which provides a facile method for the synthesis of various diaryl ketones in excellent yields. This protocol is metal-free, mild and compatible with a number of functional groups on substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Development on Metal-Free Catalysis)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Author: Ping-Gui Li 1,2 and Liang-Hua Zou *,1
Affiliation: 1 School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jiangnan University, Lihu Avenue 1800, Wuxi 214122, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Life Sciences, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Xianlin Avenue 163, Nanjing 210093, China
Tentative title: Recent Advances in Transition-Metal-Free Direct Formation of C-C and C-Heteroatom Bonds
Abstract: Transition-metal-free coupling reactions become an important research center in the synthesis of biaryl compounds and heterocycles in the last few years. Generally, early method for the construction of such molecules involved transition-metal catalysis, but recent advances in the field have witnessed a myriad of elegant reports on transition-metal free reactions. The serendipitous discovery and observation of synthetic chemists have realized that there lies a great potential in exploiting the inherent reactivity of molecules in absence of transition metal. The key to the success of such coupling reactions is the combination use of a strong base, oxidant and a catalytic amount of N-donor ligands. During the past 10 years, there have been significant advances in transition-metal free reactions, especially for the synthesis or functionalization of heterocycles.
In the following article, we will focus on the recent advances in transition-metal free reactions over the past 5 years. These oxidation reactions are classified by the formation of bonds, including C-C bond formation, C-N bond formation, C-O and C-S bond formation, C-P bond formation, C-B formation, and so on. This review will highlight the scope and limits, as well as the mechanism of these transition-metal free reactions. We hope this review will serve as a handy reference for chemists interested in empolying transition-metal free reactions in organic synthesis and those interested in discovering new type of transition-metal free reactions.

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