Reactions that form a product with the same reactive functionality as that of one of the starting compounds frequently end in oligomerization. As a salient example, selective aldol coupling of the smallest, though arguably most useful, enolizable aldehyde, acetaldehyde, with just one partner substrate has proven to be extremely challenging. Here, we report a highly enantioselective Mukaiyama aldol reaction with the simple triethylsilyl (TES) and tert -butyldimethylsilyl (TBS) enolates of acetaldehyde and various aliphatic and aromatic acceptor aldehydes. The reaction is catalyzed by recently developed, strongly acidic imidodiphosphorimidates (IDPi), which, like enzymes, display a confined active site but, like small-molecule catalysts, have a broad substrate scope. The process is scalable, fast, efficient (0.5 to 1.5 mole % catalyst loading), and greatly simplifies access to highly valuable silylated acetaldehyde aldols.
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Natural Sciences in General