Volume 87 Issue 35 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: August 31, 2009

Organocatalyst Passes Chirality Along

Supramolecular catalyst could point the way to a powerful new strategy for finding novel organocatalysts
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: organocatalysis, asymmetric catalysis, supramolecular

An asymmetric catalyst that assembles spontaneously from simple organic components could point the way to a powerful new strategy for finding novel organocatalysts, according to researchers in Japan. Takashi Ooi, Daisuke Uraguchi, and Yusuke Ueki of Nagoya University built the catalyst simply by mixing a chiral tetraaminophosphonium cation, two phenols, and a phenoxide anion in solution (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1176758). The catalyst is held together by relatively weak hydrogen-bonding and ionic interactions. It’s remarkable . . .

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