A direct catalytic asymmetric aldol reaction of propionate equivalent was achieved via the aldol-Tishchenko reaction. Coupling an irreversible Tishchenko reaction to a reversible aldol reaction overcame the retro-aldol reaction problem and thereby afforded the products in high enantio and diastereoselectivity using 10 mol % of the asymmetric catalyst. A variety of ketones and aldehydes, including propyl and butyl ketones, were coupled efficiently, yielding the corresponding aldol-Tishchenko products in up to 96% yield and 95% ee. Diastereoselectivity was generally below the detection limit of 1H NMR (>98:2). Preliminary studies performed to clarify the mechanism revealed that the aldol products were racemic with no diastereoselectivity. On the other hand, the Tishchenko products were obtained in a highly enantiocontrolled manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry