Issue Date: February 22, 2010
Cocatalyst Tag Team
Adding a chiral urea’s embrace to a ring-forming reaction catalyzed by an achiral Brønsted acid renders the process highly enantioselective, chemists at Harvard University have found (Science 2010, 327, 986). The work could inspire a general strategy for using organocatalysts to perform enantioselective transformations on cations. Several teams have already used “cooperative catalysis” that pairs a metal catalyst or organocatalyst with a cocatalyst to achieve selective bond formations. Eric N. Jacobsen and colleagues . . .
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