A redox-reconfigurable catalyst derived from l-methionine and incorporating catalytic urea groups has been synthesized. This copper complex catalyzes the enantioselective addition of diethyl malonate to trans-β-nitrostyrene. Either enantiomer of the product can be predetermined by selection of the oxidation state of the copper ion. Enantiomeric excesses of up to 72% (S) and 70% (R) were obtained in acetonitrile. The ability of the catalyst to invert enantiomeric preference was reproduced with several different solvents and bases. Facile interconversion between the Cu 2+ and Cu + redox states allowed easy access to both active helical forms of the complex and, therefore, dial-in enantioselectivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry