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September 7, 2021

What’s the matter? Explore the world through chemistry with SciFinder-n

Chemistry is potent, and we can use it to help us understand the mass of things that matter. To help you do this the Deakin Library subscribes to a database called SciFinder-n. It provides access to comprehensive and authoritative sources of substances and reactions in chemistry and related sciences.

SciFinder-n is provided by Chemical Abstracts Service, who allocate all the CAS Registry Numbers for compounds and substances. You’ll see those numbers on everything that has materials or ingredients listed. It is a very important resource for anyone looking at the makeup of matter. SciFinder-n is also the world’s largest chemical reaction database and features a retrosynthesis planner which uses AI to generate plausible synthesis pathways to novel compounds. 

Want to know more about how to take advantage of this great resource? We recommend coming along to one of our upcoming training sessions. 

SciFinder-n Training  

SciFinder-n: What’s new? 
Tuesday 14 September 2021, 11am–12pm   
An important training session for anyone working in chemistry or materials engineering. All details for the session are here.  

SciFinder-n: Biosequence searching 
Tuesday 14 September 2021, 2pm–3pm
An important training session for anyone working in bioinformatics. All details for the session are here.  

Hands pouring coloured liquids into a glass beaker

From discovering synthesis reactions to biosequence searching, SciFinder-n has a wide range of uses. Image attribution: Photo by Alex Kondratiev on Unsplash

So what can I use it for?  

Synthesis reactions 

SciFinder-n has millions of fully described step-by-step reactions with full details (including those translated into English from other languages) for you to review, enabling scientists to discover all available published methods for making nanomaterials and polymers.   

Predictive retrosynthesis 

You can use SciFinder-n to discover how to make a compound or molecule that does not yet exist. Using the very latest in Computer-Aided Synthesis Design, SciFinder-n can show you all theoretically possible pathways to synthesising your compound of interest.   


SciFinder-n has indexed patents from more than 63 patent offices across 100 years, allowing you to look for prior art and check the novelty of your invention. The indexed patents allow you to go instantly to where the relevant chemistry is mentioned in the patent (even if the patent is not in English). You can save time by searching for patents in one place, with indexation specifically for chemistry.   

Compound family searching  

Want to know all of the alloys containing a certain mixture of elements and be able to review all of them simultaneously? SciFinder-n allows you to search across common substances and families easily, ensuring you can find exactly what you’re looking for but also closely related alloys, polymers, and substances.   

Formulations indexing  

Want to know where a particular compound, material, or substance has been used in a formulation (e.g. cosmetics, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, etc.)? With SciFinder-n you can search for where these materials are being used in actual formulations.   

More than nine billion physical, chemical, and biological properties  

SciFinder-n is the world’s largest database for the physical, chemical, and biological properties of compounds that have been experimentally reported. Included with this are the spectra (MS, UV-Vis, NMR, FTIR, etc) of these compounds along with the regulatory restrictions on these compounds.  

Biosequence searching  

You can search across more than 550 million Nucleic and Protein Sequences, with easy links back to the journals and patents that contain them. You can search for antibody and T-Cell Receptors, and to view the individual and intersecting CDR results. There is a full suite of searching functions supported, including BLASTn, MegaBlast, BLASTp, tBLASTn. You can search for short patterns in DNA, RNA, or proteins with queries enabled for additional variability. Results displayed will show not only alignment but will highlight misalignments. You can visualise your results to more easily review large answer sets with a tool called BioScape.  

Learn more about SciFinder-n  

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