Nobel chemists, noble metal

Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki are the 2010 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on "palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis". One of the toughest tasks facing an organic chemist is to link together two relatively unresponsive carbon atoms to form novel, and more functionally rich molecules. The three Nobel chemists each developed techniques for making carbon-carbon bonds without spewing out side-products and without the reactions having to be carried out under extreme conditions. The Heck, Negishi and Suzuki reactions all use the noble metal palladium, to do their work and have become indispensible tools in the organic chemist's toolkit of reactions.