Background: The microwave reactor has been an important tool in organic synthesis. During
last two decades microwave radiation has been successfully used in a variety of reactions including carbon-
carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formation. The application of microwave energy for carbonchalcogen
bond formation leading to the synthesis of chalcogenides have been reported by various
groups. Considering the importance of organo-chalocogenides in pharmaceutical industries this review
is initiated to assemble these results in one article.
Methods: Microwave radiation has been applied for carbon-chalcogen bond formation producing a variety
of diversely substituted chalocogenides.
Results: A variety of organo-sulfur, organo-selenium and organo-tellurium compounds have been synthesized
starting from readily available and inexpensive starting materials quite efficiently. It was also
demonstrated that microwave heating is superior to conventional heating in many reactions giving
higher yield, clean product and shorter reaction time.
Conclusion: This review, in general highlights the microwave-assisted carbon-chalcogen bond formation
leading to the synthesis of a variety of chalcogenides. It covers the recent developments on various
types of reactions including C-H activation under microwave irradiation producing a variety of sulfides,
selenides and tellurides. The prominent among them are Promazine, VX-745, a potent inhibitor with
p38 activity, 8-arylsulfanyl adenine, a core structure present in several inhibitors of heat shock protein
90 (Hsp90) which is an attractive target in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, and unsymmetrical
diheteroaryl selenides and tellurides which are of much potential for pharmaceutical activity. We hope,
this will be of much interest to a wide spectrum of chemists in academia and industry.