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Keywords:

  • anhydrides;
  • asymmetric catalysis;
  • density functional theory;
  • organocatalysis;
  • modeling
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover picture shows the reaction coordinate for the alcoholysis of cyclic meso-anhydrides catalyzed by α-amino alcohols. Starting from the left, the reaction has two pathways, either general base catalysis (blue) or nucleophilic catalysis (orange). In their article on pages 1122–1129, Aviyente and co-workers identify the transition structures along the general base and the nucleophilic catalysis pathways. The energy required to pass through the barrier in the general base catalysis pathway is less than that required in the nucleophilic catalysis pathway.