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Keywords:

  • acylation;
  • arene ligands;
  • asymmetric catalysis;
  • chromium;
  • ketones
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

For 25 years it has been known that 1,4-dihydroxynaphthalene and tetrahydronaphthalene-1,4-dione coexist as stable tautomers; however, the dione has now emerged as an interesting starting material for synthesis. Its efficient isolation is reported, and the corresponding [Cr(CO)3] complexes of the two tautomers are prepared, thus leading to efficient desymmetrization using chiral diamine acyl-transfer catalysts (see scheme).