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Keywords:

  • Michael addition;
  • N-heterocyclic carbene;
  • organocatalysis;
  • synthetic methods;
  • β-activation
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Without detours: Oxidative catalysis mediated by N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) enables the direct β-carbon functionalization of saturated aldehydes (see scheme). The reaction proceeds through two sequential oxidative steps to generate α,β-unsaturated triazolium ester equivalents as formal Michael acceptors, which react with 1,3-diketones and β-ketone esters in an enantioselective manner.