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Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Unfunctionalized, Purely Alkyl-Substituted Olefins

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Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 642-644
DOI: 10.1126/science.1121977

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Abstract

Asymmetric hydrogenation of olefins is one of the most useful reactions for the synthesis of optically active compounds, especially in industry. However, the application range of the catalysts developed so far is limited to alkenes with a coordinating functional group or an aryl substituent next to the double bond. We have found a class of chiral iridium catalysts that give high enantioselectivity in the hydrogenation of unfunctionalized, trialkyl-substituted olefins. Because these catalysts do not require the presence of any particular functional group or aryl substituent in the substrate, they considerably broaden the scope of asymmetric hydrogenation.

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