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Fluorinated Building Blocks

Fluorinated building blocks are chemical materials that contain halogen fluorine or fluorines normally to replace hydrogen or other halogenated atoms to form carbon fluoride (C-F) chemical bonds or as a source to provide negatively charged fluorine (F-). Fluorine is considered to have high electronegativity, small atomic radius and high polarizability with unique chemical, physical and biomedical properties. The benchmark polymer known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), industrially referred to as Teflon, is hyper-hydrophobic with all four hydrogens being replaced by fluorines in the repeating unit of polyethylene structure. PTFE is inert to most of chemicals including acids and bases with excellent electrical insulation and dielectric strength.

Fluorinated building blocks normally appear in mono-, double- or triple-hydrogen replaced forms as CF, CF2 or CF3 in chemical structures. With great electron-withdrawn ability and minimal steric perturbation, fluorinated building blocks, especially heterocyclic fluorinated building blocks are widely used for the synthesis of drugs such as anti‐inflammatory and anticancer agents. While comparing with the non-fluorinated anaesthetics, fluorinated ones are longer-lasting and almost insoluble in blood. It has been estimated that over 20% of the marketed drugs have been fluoro-pharmaceuticals. Herbicides and pesticides that contains fluorine in their chemical structures as agrochemicals show dramatic effect on the biological activity of agrochemicals such as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth.
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