Organocatalytic Activation of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds for Asymmetric Diels–Alder Reactions


  • This work was supported by Aarhus University, FNU, and the Carlsberg Foundation. C.R.-E. thanks the Generalitat de Catalunya for a Beatriu de Pinós postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Jacob Overgaard is acknowledged for performing X-ray analysis.


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The anglerfish catalyst: The activation of anthracenes through aminocatalysis (see scheme) allows them to undergo [4+2] cycloadditions with concomitant breaking of the aromaticity at room temperature and low catalyst loadings. A highly enantioselective Diels–Alder reaction of anthracenes has been developed using nitroalkenes as dienophiles.