Available Technologies

Browse Penn-owned technologies available for licensing.

Reusable silicon-based cross-coupling agents for the production of natural products, pharmaceuticals, and other organic materials

Cross-coupling reactions without the generation of waste products


Catalytic carbon-carbon bond formation based on cross-coupling reactions (CCRs) plays a central role in the production of natural products, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and organic materials. Coupling reactions with organometallic reagents and organic halides facilitate a plethora of bond-forming reactions in modern synthetic chemistry. 

The problem, however, with all current cross-coupling reactions is that they lead to the formation of the stoichiometric production of waste products, such as in:

  •  the Suzuki CCR boronic acid;
  • the Negishi CCR organozinc waste;
  • the Stille CCR organotin waste; and
  • Kumada organomagnesium.


The Smith Lab has developed silicon-based transfer agents for palladium-mediated cross-coupling processes to yield aryl-aryl, alkenyl-aryl, and alkenyl-alkenyl coupled products. This reaction can occur in one pot with high yield and purity of the product, while eliminating the problems of lithium-halogen exchange, homocoupling from other palladium-mediated methods, including the Suzuki organoboron, Negishi organozinc, Stille organotin, and Kumada organomagnesium, and the stoichiometric production of waste products.


  • High product yield
  • No unwanted byproducts or homocoupling
  • Excellent specificity
  • Support catalyst on polymer that can be readily recovered without significant loss of cross-coupling activity
  • Facile product purification
  • Mild reaction conditions


  • Cross-coupling synthetic reactions
  • Natural products, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, small molecules, fine chemicals


Synthetic overview of silicon-based cross-coupling reaction. From Smith et al, 2012.

Stage of Development: 

Lab-scale synthesis of wide range of cross-coupled aryl compounds

Intellectual Property: 

Reference Media: 

  • Martinez-Solorio D. et al.  JACS, 2016, 138, p. 1836-1839.
  • Nguyen M.H. et al.  Org. Lett., 2014, 16(7), p. 2070-2073.
  • Nguyen M.H. et al.  Org. Lett., 2013, 15(16), p. 4258-4261.
  • Martinez-Solorio D. et al.  Org. Lett., 2013, 15, p. 2454-2457.
  • Smith A.B. et al.  JACS, 2012, 134, p. 4533-4536.
  • Smith A.B. et al.  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, p. 8904-8907.
  • Penn News highlight.

Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Co-development

Patent Information:


Docket # Y6226, 15-7198

For Information, Contact:

Joshua Jeanson Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania