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Acc Chem Res. 2004 Aug;37(8):518-25.

Asymmetric phase-transfer catalysis utilizing chiral quaternary ammonium salts: asymmetric alkylation of glycine imines.

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  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, U.K.


O-Alkyl N-anthracenylmethyl derivatives of Cinchona alkaloids can function as enantioselective phase-transfer catalysts. By employing these catalysts in the asymmetric alkylation of glycine imines, one can generate a range of alpha-amino acid derivatives with high levels of enantiomeric excess. It is also possible to generate the catalysts in situ from commercially available chiral amines, which offers the opportunity to evaluate libraries of related structures. This latter approach has been successfully applied to a series of biphenyl quaternary ammonium salts resulting in the development of a new highly selective catalyst and opening up the potential of further expanding the range of alpha-amino acid derivatives that can be prepared.

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