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The Halex reaction (shown above) is one possible reaction to synthesize fluorinated compounds from chlorinated compounds. The mechanistic pathway is a nucleophilic aromatic exchange of halogens (SNAr). The Halex reaction is usually carried out using polar aprotic solvents (DMSO) and using a nucleophilic source of fluorine (KF, NaF, CsF, etc) at a temperature below the boiling point of the solvent used. The reaction itself is operated under reflux for 1.5 to 2 hours and the fluorinated compounds can be produced in synthetically useful yields of 80-90%. Another possible way of producing fluorinated drug compounds is by electrophilic substitution using N-Fluoro reagents.
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