• asymmetric catalysis;
  • DAIB;
  • nonlinear effect;
  • self and nonself recognition


Asymmetric addition of dialkylzincs to aldehydes in the presence of (2S)-3-exo-(dimethylamino)isoborneol [(S)-DAIB] exhibits various nonclassical phenomena. The enantiomeric excess (ee) of the alkylation product, obtained with partially resolved DAIB, is much higher than that of the chiral amino alcohol, while the rate decreases considerably as the ee of DAIB is lowered. The asymmetric amplification effects reflect the relative turnover numbers of two enantiomorphic catalytic cycles, where an essential feature is the reversible homochiral and heterochiral dimerization of the coexisting enantiomeric DAIB-based Zn catalysts. The interplay between the thermodynamics of the monomer/dimer equilibration and the kinetics of alkylation reaction strongly affect the overall profile of asymmetric catalysis. The self and nonself recognition of the chiral Zn catalysts is a general phenomenon when (S)-DAIB is mixed with its enantiomer, diastereomer, or even an achiral β-amino alcohol. The degree of nonlinearity is highly affected not only by the structures and purity of catalysts but also by various reaction parameters. The salient features have been clarified on the basis of molecular weight measurements, NMR and X-ray crystallographic studies of organozinc complexes, and kinetic experiments, as well as computer-aided quantitative analysis. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and The Japan Chemical Journal Forum Chem Rec 1:85–100, 2001