Ruthenium NHC Catalyzed Highly Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Benzofurans


  • Generous financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 858) is gratefully acknowledged. The research of F.G. has been supported by the Alfried Krupp Prize for Young University Teachers of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. We also thank BASF (Prof. Dr. Klaus Ditrich) for the donation of precious chiral amines (ChiPros). NHC=N-heterocyclic carbene.


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H2-O-T! Aromatic O-heterocycles are a challenging substrates for asymmetric hydrogenation (H2). An in situ formed chiral N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ruthenium complex allows the high yielding, completely regioselective, and highly asymmetric hydrogenation of substituted benzofurans at room Temperature, giving valuable 2,3-dihydrobenzofurans (see scheme).