The first enantioselective organocatalytic ∞-enolation of aldehydes has been accomplished using singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) catalysis. Chiral secondary amines react with aldehydes to form transient enamines that undergo selective one-electron oxidation to generate electrophilic radical cations. These SOMO-activated radical cations are susceptible to attack by ketone-derived enol silanes, rendering ∞-substituted-γ-ketoaldehyde products with uniformly high levels of asymmetric induction. Wide latitude in both the aldehyde and enolsilane component is readily accommodated, allowing generic access to a diverse assortment of enantioenriched 1,4-dicarbonyl compounds. This report highlights the potential of SOMO catalysis to enable the development of entirely new classes of asymmetric reactions that have no traditional catalytic equivalents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry