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Induced Chirality in Achiral Media—How Theory Unravels Mysterious Solvent Effects


  • J.N. acknowlegdes funding by a Liebig Stipendium from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI), and would like to thank Prof. M. Reiher for helpful discussions and generous support.


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The solvent makes the difference: Quantum chemical investigations show that chiroptical properties can originate mainly from a chiral solvent shell rather than from the chiral solute. By using this approach it is possible to explain, for example, why the optical rotation of (S)-methyloxirane is positive in water, but has a relatively strong negative value in benzene (see picture; red: (S)- or (R)-methyloxirane, blue benzene).