Since the synthesis of trifluoromethanesulfonic acid or triflic acid by Robert N. Hazeldine, researchers synthesized and used many metal triflates as catalysts. This because many organic chemistry reactions are based on catalysis by Lewis acids, a family to which metal triflates belong.
Today, the chemical industry tends to become eco-responsible by setting up processes using less polluting and energy consuming products. Gallium (III) triflate has interesting properties for this “Green Chemistry”, due to its stability and water solubility, which thus opens the way for organic synthesis in aqueous medium. It has also demonstrated good catalytic activity, allowing the reactions to be carried out in so-called “soft” conditions.
■ “Gallium(III) Triflate: An Efficient and a Sustainable Lewis Acid Catalyst for Organic Synthetic Transformations”, Prakash et al., JACS 2011