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Keywords:

  • spontaneous asymmetry generation;
  • chiral symmetry breaking

Abstract

In our earlier work we established that stirred crystallization of achiral compounds that crystallize in enantiomeric forms result in spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking. The asymmetry thus spontaneously generated is confined to the solid state. In this article, we present a case in which the crystal enantiomeric excess (CEE) can be converted to molecular enantiomeric excess (EE) through a solid state reaction which relates the enantiomeric form of the crystal to the enantiomeric form of the product. Such a process not only provides a means of detecting the CEE generated in stirred crystallization but it is also a means through which chiral asymmetry generated spontaneously is “propagated” to generate chiral compounds with enantiomeric excess. Chirality 14:284–287, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.