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Chem Commun (Camb). 2006 Feb 28;(8):819-24. Epub 2006 Jan 20.

The ying and yang of asymmetric aminocatalysis.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, 45470, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.


During the last six years the asymmetric catalysis of carbonyl transformations via iminium ion and enamine intermediates using chiral amines as organocatalysts has grown most remarkably. In this personal account an overview of this area is given. The field can be divided into two sub areas: (a) Iminium catalysis, which is typically used for cycloadditions and conjugate additions to enals and enones and (b) Enamine catalysis, which is commonly used in electrophilic alpha-substitution reactions of ketones and aldehydes. A common origin of the two catalysis principles is proposed and their recent merger in tandem sequences is discussed.

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