No More Metal Cats

No More Metal Cats

Author: David Bradley

Organic catalysts that contain no expensive metal ions could open up new routes in synthetic chemistry according to researchers in Canada.

They have experimented with a fluorine-rich Lewis acid boron compound, tris(pentafluorobenzyl)boron, and have demonstrated that it can activate amines and so racemize chiral amines. By extension to a bimolecular reaction, the team has also shown that the same catalyst can effect hydride abstraction using the readily available compound diisopropylamine as the hydrogen source.

The catalyst opens up a new approach to metal-free stereochemical control in synthesis.

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