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Chiral Metal Complexes as Discriminating Molecular Catalysts

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Science  08 Jun 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4960, pp. 1194-1199
DOI: 10.1126/science.248.4960.1194

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Abstract

As molecular recognition continues to gain importance in the biological and physical sciences as well as in the technologies of molecular electronics and optics, so has the need for efficient syntheses of chiral molecules. Chemists are fulfilling this need through use of chiral organometallic molecules. These chiral metal complexes precisely discriminate between enantiotopic atoms, groups, or faces in achiral molecules and catalyze production of a broad array of natural or unnatural substances of excellent enantiomeric purity. Because of their ability to efficiently multiply chirality, even on an industrial level, these catalysts promise to exert a general impact on molecular science and engineering.