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Keywords:

  • aldol reaction;
  • carbanions;
  • homogeneous catalysis;
  • synthetic methodology;
  • zwitterions
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A trifle of triflyl: N-substituted anilines react with 1,1,3,3-tetrakis(triflyl)propane to give a 2,2-bis(triflyl)ethyl group at the para position of the ring. The product is a zwitterion with a carbanion and an ammonium moiety, and can be used as an acid catalyst for organic reactions (see scheme).