Check out Tim's paper in JACS!

Where to start with this one?  While I am obviously biased, Tim's paper is pretty awesome, and I have immensely enjoyed being part of its development.  Over the last decade, our group has explored the ability to use visible light to drive olefin isomerization.  We became interested in cycloalkenes in an attempt to capture more photochemical energy that was being wasted.  This work build on these efforts, as Tim elegantly demonstrates that arylcyclohexenes can serve as a energy transducer converting photochemical energy to chemical potential energy in the form of ring strain and that this can be exploited to drive endergonic processes that are not photochemical in nature.  This work is unique in that the arylcycloalkene is not consumed in the process, rather it serves as the energy currency to drive an unfavorable reaction.  The reaction we first focused on is the 3-component coupling of amines, CO2, and cyclohexenes to produce urethanes.  The product urethane is rather specific but undergoes smooth trans-urethanation.  Urethanes are a $20 billion/annum market and their production is largely still accomplished by use of high energy molecules, which often are toxic.  With new energy transducer technology, we can begin to navigate chemical synthesis in the upstream direction, turning energetically spent molecules into molecules of value and purpose.  Enjoy.