A series of novel optically active helicene-derived phosphine ligands (L1, with a 7,8-dihydrohelicene core structure- and L2, with a fully aromatic helicene core structure) were synthesized. Despite their structural similarities, L1 and L2 exhibit particularly different characteristics in their use as chiral ligands. L1 was highly effective in the asymmetric allylation of indoles with 1,3-diphenylallyl acetate (up to 99% ee), and in the etherification of alcohols (up to 96% ee). In contrast, L2 was highly effective in the stereocontrol of helical chirality in Suzuki-Miyaura coupling (SMC) reaction (up to 99% ee). Density functional theory analysis was employed to propose a model that accounts for the origin of the enantioselectivity in these reactions.
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