Richard F. Heck life and biography

Richard F. Heck picture, image, poster

Richard F. Heck biography

Date of birth : 1931-08-15
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Springfield, Massachusetts
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-06-24
Credited as : Chemist, Heck reaction palladium , Nobel Prize in chemistry 2010

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Richard Fred Heck is an American chemist noted for the discovery and development of the Heck reaction, which uses palladium to catalyze organic chemical reactions that couple aryl halides with alkenes.

Heck was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on October 6, 2010, with the Japanese chemists Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki, for their work in palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions in organic synthesis.

The development of the Heck reaction began with Heck's investigations of the coupling of arylmercury compounds with olefins using palladium as a catalyst during the late 1960s. This work was published in a series of seven consecutive articles in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) for which Heck was the sole author.

During the early 1970s Mizoroki independently reported the use of the less toxic aryl halides as the coupling partner in the reaction. During his career, Heck continued to improve the transformation, developing it into a powerful synthetic method for organic synthesis.

The importance of this reaction grew slowly in the organic synthesis community. In 1982, Heck was able to write an Organic Reactions chapter that covered all the known instances in just 45 pages. By 2002, applications had grown to the extent that the Organic Reactions chapter published that year, limited to intramolecular Heck reactions, covered 377 pages. Today, the Heck reaction stands as one of the widely used methods for the creation of carbon-carbon bonds in the synthesis of organic chemicals. This reaction has been subject to numerous scientific review articles, including a ~600 page monograph dedicated to this subject published in 2009.

Heck was a professor of chemistry at the University of Delaware until his retirement in the year 1989.

Richard Heck now resides and intends to retire in the Philippines.

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