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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Synthesis and Explosion Hazards of 4-Azido-l-phenylalanine.

  • Author(s): Richardson, Mark B
  • Brown, Derek B
  • Vasquez, Carlos A
  • Ziller, Joseph W
  • Johnston, Kevin M
  • Weiss, Gregory A
  • et al.

A reliable, scalable, cost-effective, and chromatography-free synthesis of 4-azido-l-phenylalanine beginning from l-phenylalanine is described. Investigations into the safety of the synthesis reveal that the Ullman-like Cu(I)-catalyzed azidation step does not represent a significant risk. The isolated 4-azido-l-phenylalanine product, however, exhibits previously undocumented explosive characteristics.

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