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Keywords:

  • asymmetric synthesis;
  • enantioselectivity;
  • enones;
  • hydrogenation;
  • iridium
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Close to perfect enantioselectivity (up to 99 % ee, see scheme) is found for the formation of α-substituted ketones by the asymmetric hydrogenation of enones with an iridium–phosphinooxazoline catalyst. In an operationally simple process, both linear and cyclic substrates react well and afford the desired products in high yields. A wide variety of substituents are tolerated, thus making the method synthetically appealing.