Origins of Stereoselectivity of Chiral Vicinal Diamine-Catalyzed Aldol Reactions.J Org Chem. 2016 12 16; 81(24):12408-12415.JO
The sources of asymmetric induction in aldol reactions catalyzed by cinchona alkaloid-derived amines, and chiral vicinal diamines in general, have been determined by density functional theory calculations. Four vicinal diamine-catalyzed aldol reactions were examined. The cyclic transition states of these reactions involve nine-membered hydrogen-bonded rings in distinct conformations. Using nomenclature from eight-membered cycloalkanes, the heavy atoms of the low-energy transition states are in crown (chair-chair) and chair-boat conformations. The factors that control which of these are favored have been identified.