An efficient, regiocontrolled approach to the synthesis of 8-fluoropurines by direct fluorination of purines with dilute elemental fluorine, or acetyl hypofluorite, is provided. In a preferred embodiment, a purine compound is dissolved in a polar solvent and reacted with a dilute mixture of F.sub.2 in He or other inert gas.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FC0387-ER60615, awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.