Bromotrifluoromethane, a useful synthon for trifluoromethylation


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Why trifluoromethylation?

A large percentage of the new active molecules in pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry contain fluorine atoms (1,2,3).  In many cases, the trifluoromethyl group shows interesting properties that make it desirable in biologically active compounds(4) and introducing trifluoromethyl groups is a valuable addition to the organic chemist’s toolbox.


Why bromotrifluoromethane (BTFM)?

The trifluoromethyl group is often added by the use of a fluorinated synthon. One classical way to affect trifluoromethylation is by fluorination of a trichloromethyl, carboxyl or carbonyl group, although drastic process conditions are generally required which makes this method inconvenient and limited in scope due to the availability of chemically robust synthons.
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