(Chemical Equation Presented) N-Heterocyclic carbenes derived from benzimidazolium salts are effective catalysts for generating homoenolate species from α,β-unsaturated aldehydes. These nucleophilic intermediates can be protonated, and the resulting activated carbonyl unit is trapped with an alcohol nucleophile, thereby promoting a highly efficient conversion of an α,β-unsaturated aldehyde into a saturated ester. A kinetic resolution of secondary alcohols can be achieved using chiral imidazoylidene catalysts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry