The Synthesis of Chiral Isotetronic Acids with Amphiphilic Imidazole/Pyrrolidine Catalysts Assembled in Oil-in-Water Emulsion Droplets


  • This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (20921092, 21002100) and National Basic Research Program of China (2010CB833300).


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Drop it! A highly enantioselective catalytic cascade reaction of α-ketoacids and aldehydes is achieved using the title catalyst and water as the solvent. Fluorescence imaging shows that the catalyst is mainly distributed on the surface of emulsion droplets. Optically active isotetronic acids can be obtained with this method and the emulsion droplets are responsible for the high reactivity and enantioselectivity.