Address: ul. Favorskogo, 1 Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
Phones: +7 (3952) 461411; +7 (3952) 466416

One of the leading Russian schools of organic chemistry was formed based on the Irkutsk Institute of Organic Chemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The Institute was founded in 1957 in the course of reorganizing the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. To date the Irkutsk Institute of Organic Chemistry has been one of the leading institutes dealing with fundamental aspects of organic chemistry in the Eastern Region of Russia from Novosibirsk to Vladivostok. Industries concentrated over the territory of the Irkutsk Region are either completely based, or considerably dependent on, advances in organic chemistry. This gives rise to very serious ecological problems and the radical solution of these problems lies within a sphere also controlled by organic chemistry.
The East-Siberian school of organic chemistry provides in essence the scientific basis for sustainable development of the Region.

The Irkutsk Institute of Organic Chemistry was created under the supervision of Professor M. F. Shostakovsky, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He was a close disciple of Academician A. E. Favorsky, the founder of the large, world-renowned Russian school of organic chemists, first director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, one of the creators of the State Institute of Applied Chemistry, flagship of Russian applied chemistry. The body of the Institute was formed by specialists of leading scientific institutions of Moscow and Leningrad, as well as by talented graduates from the Irkutsk State University where they undertook studies under the guidance of Professors V. A. Larina, A. V. Kalabina and P. F. Bochkarev. Very soon the Institute occupied leading positions in the chemistry of acetylene and its derivative, a traditional area of Favorsky's school.
Since 1970 the Institute has been headed by Academician M. G. Voronkov, a world-renowned scientist in the field of the organic chemistry of silicon and sulfur and a former Ph.D. Student of Academician Favorsky. M. G. Voronkov persisted in creating the East-Siberian school of organic chemistry and brought it into a number of world-recognized leaders in the field of chemistry of organic compounds of hypervalent silicon and sulfur. At that time he invited to the Institute a large group of specialists from Moscow, Leningrad, Riga and Gorky.
In 1994 Professor B. A. Trofimov, Corresponding Member of the RAS, was elected director of the Institute. He is recognized throughout the world as a distinguished specialist in the field of the chemistry of acetylene, heterocyclic compounds, unsaturated compounds of sulfur, selenium, tellurium and phosphorus. He has offered a new and efficient approach to vinylation and ethynylation reactions carried out using of super base reagents and catalysts. A fresh contribution has been made by him and his research team to the theory of reactions of electrophilic addition to unsaturated heteroatomic fragments.
Adhering to the best traditions of the classic Russian chemical school of Academician A. E. Favorsky, making use of its methodology and approaches and developing its main trends, the Institute now presents the most active and integral part of this school to the whole of Russia.
The Institute deals with basic and applied research in the following areas: chemistry of acetylene and its heteroatomic (oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, selenium, tellurium, fluorine, etc.) derivatives including heterocycles; chemistry of organic compounds of silicon, germanium, tin; chemistry of wood and natural compounds of the Siberian flora; chemistry of macromolecular compounds.
Over the last four decades, more than 50 scientists of the Institute, mainly graduates from the Irkutsk Higher Education Institutions, have been awarded the degree of Doctor of Sciences and 250 have obtained a Ph.D. degree. Many well-known specialists in the fields of chemistry of silicon, organometallic compounds, acetylene and diacetylene and their derivatives (vinyl ethers and sulfides, acetylenic alcohols, N-vinyl derivatives of nitrogen heterocycles) such as Professors A. S. Atavin, N. V. Komarov, G. G. Skvortsova, N. A. Tyukavkina, V. A. Usov, A. N. Volkov, N. S. Vyazankin, S. V. Amosova, V. A. Babkin, E. N. Deryagina, E. S. Domnina, Yu. L. Frolov, N. K. Gusarova, N. A. Keiko, A. S. Medvedeva, A. N. Mirskova, R. G. Mirskov, V. A. Pestunovich, A. A. Semenov, have worked and continue to work at the Institute.
At present the main body of the school is represented by one Academician, one Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 26 Doctors of Sciences and 143 Ph.D. The staff of the Institute is about 400. There are 24 laboratories and 4 research groups combined into departments based on the main trends of investigation, a high-pressure building, mechanical and electromechanical workshops and a pilot plant at the `Ussolie KhimProm' Company.
The chemistry of acetylene and its heteroatomic derivatives. This research unfolds the traditions and ideology of the distinguished classic Russian chemical school of Academician A. E. Favorsky (Moscow, St.Petersburg). Studies in this field are directed towards further development of the chemistry of triple and double carbon-carbon bonds and fundamental aspects of organic synthesis based thereon. Novel general reactions of acetylene and its derivatives leading to promising monomers and building blocks for fine organic synthesis have been found and elaborated: new general route to pyrroles and N-vinylpyrroles from ketoximes and acetylene and its synthetic equivalents (Trofimov's reaction); direct vinylation of sulfur, selenium, tellurium and phosphorus; metallation of N-vinylpyrroles by super basic reagents, synthesis of new functional pyrroles and annelated heterocyclic systems therefrom; one-step synthesis of vinyloxy-1,3-dienes from acetylene and water (hydration trimerization of acetylene), aldehydes or acetylenic alcohols; synthesis of the acetylenic hydroxycarboxylic acids esters by direct copper-palladium-catalysed reaction of acetylenic alcohols with carbon monoxide; new reactions of esters and nitriles of acetylenic hydroxycarboxylic acids with nucleophilic reagents (new fundamental approaches to syntheses of polyfunctional unsaturated and heterocyclic compounds); eliminating vinylation of 1,2-diols and polyatomic alcohols (divinyl ether from ethyleneglycol, 1,2-divinyloxypropene from glycerol, etc.) Classical Favorsky reactions have been radically modified (based on fundamental studies of complex superbase catalysts) and now they are being carried out without pressure at moderate temperatures: vinylation of alcohols, nitrogen heterocycles, thiols; ethynylation of aldehydes and ketones; acetylene-allene- 1,3-dienic isomerization (synthesis of allenyl and 1,3-dienic ethers). A large series of investigations on the structure and acid-base properties of unsaturated ethers, sulfides, sulfoxides and pyrroles has been performed.

The chemistry of organic compounds of silicon, germanium, tin is being developed in the following directions: compounds of penta- and hexacoordinate silicon (silatranes, dragonoids, etc.); carbofunctional organosilicon compounds, adsorbents, ion-exchangers and complex-forming agents thereof; macrocyclic highly unsaturated silicon-containing hydrocarbons; organosilicon compounds for use in microelectronics; organosilicon heterocycles; chemistry of siloxanes and silanones; biologically active organosilicon compounds for use in medicine and agriculture; chemical reactions of elemental sulfur with arylhaloalkanes leading to thiophene or 1,2- dithiolene-3-thione derivatives (Voronkov's reaction).
The following have also been studied: high temperature synthesis of organic compounds of sulfur, thermal reactions of thiyl and selenyl radicals; synthesis of organic phosphorus compounds from elemental phosphorus; unsaturated organic compounds of chlorine and fluorine; unsaturated compounds of sulfur, selenium, tellurium.

Chemistry of wood and natural compounds of the Siberian flora: bioactive compounds extracted from wild-growing plants are studied and, based on this research, new medicines for the treatment of chronic and difficult to cure diseases (antipsoriatic drugs, non-steroid agents for birth control, immunomodulators) are being examined; innovative processes for wood delignification, cellulose pulping which are based on a comprehensive utilization of wood raw material are being worked out. New technologies for the preparation of efficient medicines, vitamins, food additives, intermediates for use in drug manufacture (dehydroquercetin, arabinogalactan, vanilin, syrinaldehyde, polyphepan) are being developed.

In the field of macromolecular chemistry innovative effective methods for the synthesis of polymers possessing a number of technically valuable properties have been developed: water-soluble, hydrophilic and bioactive polymers; sulfur-containing aromatic (heteroaromatic) electro-conducting polymers and copolymers; vinylchloride and vinyl ether copolymers (new PVC-materials). Interpolymer interactions of polyelectrolytes in aqueous media (efficient methods of waste water purification) have been studied. Investigations in the chemistry of substituted acrylic systems are in progress. The fundamental research carried out at the Institute has laid the basis for further developments in the following fields: industrial organic synthesis, oil-, gas- and coal-processing (modification of the existing methods and introduction of innovative technologies); pharmaceutical industry (new medicines, modified methods for the preparation of known drugs and vitamins); wood chemistry (new approaches to comprehensive utilization of renewable feedstock); agricultural chemistry (ecologically benign pesticides, pesticide activators, growth regulators, products for use in animal farming); mining and enrichment industry (new flotations agents, adsorbents and metal extractants); building industry (new materials, sealants, putties, binders); perfumery, vitamin and food industries (technology for manufacturing fragrance and flavour compounds, intermediates for vitamins A and E, food additives and food preserving agents); metal treatment (lubricant-coolants and quenchers); energetics and ecology (ecologically friendly fuel from low- grade coals, low pollutant gasoline of increased efficiency, ion-exchange resins for water cleansing, adsorbents for industrial wastes and decontamination in the case of emergency spillage of oil products); electronics and electrical engineering (semiconductors, photoconductors, insulating compounds, lacquers, adhesives, resists); advanced materials and innovative technologies (silver-free photosensitive materials, recording media, components for ceramics, highly strong, super hard and heat-resistant materials).

Innovative technologies for the preparation of a number of original products with no analogues elsewhere in the world, such as ethylene glycol vinylglycidyl ether (`vinylox'), tetrahydroindole and N-vinyltetrahydroindole, divinylsulfide, vinyloxyethylmetacrylate, pentaerythrol tetravinyl ether, 2- vinyloxymethyl-1,3-dioxolane, glycerol trivinyl ether, 1,2- divinyloxypropene, methyl ester of 4-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-penta-1-carboxylic acid and potassium N-[2-(vinyloxy)ethyl]-dithiocarbamate (pesticide `Vinditat') have been developed at the Institute.

Over 30 monographs by the Institute's scientists have been published. Annually about 100 papers and 15 reviews are published in leading foreign and Russian journals. The total number of inventions (Inventor's Certificates and patents) is over 1,500.

The Institute fruitfully cooperates with universities, institutes, companies and organizations in the USA, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. At present collaborative research with foreign scientists becomes a first priority in the Institute's policy.
Under the conditions of reform being currently carried out in this country, the Institute should retain its scientific potential and high level research in traditional fields. Following the inevitable cutting down of the staff, retainment of the main body (doctors of sciences and potential Ph.D.) with simultaneous formation of a youth `wing' of talented graduates and post-graduates from the Irkutsk State University is of vital importance for the Institute.
The prospects for the development of the Irkutsk Institute of Organic Chemistry are linked with further basic research in the fields of chemistry of hypervalent organosilicon compounds and of acetylene derivatives - unsaturated (including heterocyclic) compounds of oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium, phosphorus, silicon, lithium, sodium and potassium. The research will be carried out with the emphasis on novel methods of synthesis, reactions and rearrangements. Even more attention will be given to theoretical aspects, new types of chemical bonds, unusual molecular structures and the reactivity of unstable intermediate species (ions, radicals, radical ions, carbenes with unsaturated fragments and heterocycles). The applied aspect of basic research is supposed to be directed towards the most important problems to be solved in the East-Siberian Region - development of optimal and less hazardous technologies for oil-, gas- and coal-processing, comprehensive utilization of wood, synthesis and extraction of drugs and other valuable products from natural resources, solution of ecological problems, especially in the Baikal Lake area.

6:09PM 8/17/96 Fedor Babanine (