[2 + 2] photocycloadditions in the synthesis of chiral molecules

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Science  22 Feb 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4689, pp. 857-863
DOI: 10.1126/science.4038558


A strategy for the synthesis of chiral molecules that receives growing popularity among organic chemists employs the photochemically mediated [2 + 2] cycloaddition reaction. These reactions can be performed on a multigram scale and often proceed with high yield and with stereocontrol. These features, in combination with the useful properties of the four-membered ring photoproducts in subsequent chemical transformations, make them attractive options in the early stage of a synthesis design. Various combinations of unsaturated functional groups can participate in this reaction process. Accordingly, these chemical reactions can be economical solutions to problems relating to the synthesis of a variety of target molecules.