Buchler Glossary

Enantioselective Synthesis

Enantioselective synthesis, also called asymmetric synthesis, is a form of chemical synthesis. It is defined by IUPAC as “a chemical reaction (or reaction sequence) in which one or more new elements of chirality are formed in a substrate molecule and which produces the stereoisomeric (enantiomeric or diastereoisomeric) products in unequal amounts. Enantioselective synthesis is a key process in modern chemistry and is particularly important in the field of pharmaceuticals, as the different enantiomers or diastereomers of a molecule often have different biological activity.

In light of the continuously growing demand for nonracemic chiral compounds, the introduction of effective procedures for creating enantiomerically enriched products holds significant value for both the industrial and academic sectors.

Nowadays, Cinchona alkaloids, are among the most widely used chiral catalysts, available for more than 120 different reaction types such as Michael, Mannich, Henry, amination, alkylation, epoxidation, halogenation, etc.. The range of catalytic reactions that’s able to be carried out with excellent enantioselectivity and efficiency has been substantially increased over the last several decades. To get an overview of the variety of different applications, a free of charge Chiral Catalyst Search Database has been created.

This Chiral Catalyst Search Database allows any organic chemist to search individually for their specific solution to a problem. Suitable catalysts for the respective reaction type can be found within a very short time. Additionally a link to the respective literature enables the chemist to find out adequate reaction conditions in order to manufacture the required product in high enantiomeric excess.

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