Issue Date: August 31, 2009
Organocatalyst Passes Chirality Along
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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