Aleksandr Fokin

Fokin, Aleksandr Vasil’evich


Born Aug. 13 (26), 1912, in Kizyl-Arvat, in what is now the Turkmen SSR. Soviet organic chemist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1974; corresponding member, 1968); deputy principal scientific secretary of the academy’s presidium from 1971. Member of the CPSU since 1939.

After graduating from the Military Academy for Protection Against Chemical Attack in 1935, Fokin worked as an engineer in the chemical industry. From 1941 to 1947 he served in the Soviet Army. Beginning in 1947, he worked at the Military Academy for Protection Against Chemical Attack, where he was head of a subdepartment from 1959 to 1970. In 1974 he became director of a laboratory at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

Fokin’s early research was connected with the development of industrial methods for synthesizing ethylene oxide and propylene oxide through the direct oxidation of olefins by atmospheric oxygen. His early work also involved the development of technology for the esters of cyanoformic acid and the production of transformer oils by the chlorination of biphenyl. Fokin studied the reactions of fluorinated olefins with hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, amines, sulfur chlorides, and nitrogen oxides. He also studied the pyrolysis of fluorinated olefins and fluoropolymers. He was the first to synthesize a number of new types of sulfur-, nitro-, and nitroso-containing polyfluorinated polyalkanes and alkenes.

Fokin and his school developed a method for the selective fluorination of nitrogen-containing organic compounds, carried out the radiation-induced polymerization of fluorinated olefins, and synthesized efficient phosphorus- and sulfur-containing extractants and sorbents for recovering and purifying nonferrous metals. Fokin is one of the developers of the current method for concentrating and preserving fragments of radioactive isotopes. He is the author of more than 250 published works. Many of his inventions have been utilized by industry.

Fokin has been awarded the Order of the October Revolution, four other orders, and a number of medals.


Pokorenie nepristupnogo elementa. Moscow, 1963. (With I. L. Knuniants.)
Mir ftoruglerodov: Novye soedineniia flora. Moscow, 1968. (With I. L. Knuniants.)
Oskolochnye izotopy. Moscow, 1972. (With others.)
“Metody sinteza organicheskikh soedinenii so sviaz’iu N—F.” In Reaktsii i metody issledovaniia organicheskikh soedinenii, vol. 24. Moscow, 1976. (With others.)
“Stroenie i metody sinteza tiiranov.” In Uspekhi khimii, 1975, vol. 44, fasc. 2, pp. 306–34. (With others.)
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