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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 73, No. 2, pp. 227-232 (2001)

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Vol. 73, Issue 2

Asymmetric hydrogenation via architectural and functional molecular engineering*

Ryoji Noyori**, Masatoshi Koizumi, Dai Ishii, and Takeshi Ohkuma

Department of Chemistry and Research Center for Materials Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan

Abstract: RuCl2 (phosphine) 2 (1,2-diamine) complexes, coupled with an alkaline base in 2-propanol, allows for preferential hydrogenation of a C=O function over coexisting conjugated or nonconjugated C=C linkages, a nitro group, halogen atoms, and various heterocycles. The functional group selectivity is based on the novel metal-ligand bifunctional mechanism. The use of appropriate chiral diphosphines and diamines results in rapid and productive asymmetric hydrogenation of a range of aromatic, hetero-aromatic, and olefinic ketones. The versatility of this method is manifested by the asymmetric synthesis of various biologically significant chiral compounds.

* Lecture presented at the XIXth International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry (XIX ICOMC) , Shanghai, China, 23-28 July 2000. Other presentations are published in this issue, pp. 205-376.
** Corresponding author.

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