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Keywords:

  • acylcyanation;
  • asymmetric catalysis;
  • organocatalysis;
  • Strecker reaction;
  • thiourea
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The less problematic acetyl cyanide can be used instead of toxic HCN for the highly enantioselective acyl-Strecker-type reaction. In the presence of an N-benzylimine and a catalytic amount of Jacobsen's catalyst 1, the desired α-amidonitrile is obtained in excellent enantioselectivity and yield.