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Efficient Access to Chiral Benzhydrols via Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of Unsymmetrical Benzophenones with Bifunctional Oxo-Tethered Ruthenium Catalysts

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posted on 27.07.2016, 00:00 by Taichiro Touge, Hideki Nara, Mitsuhiko Fujiwhara, Yoshihito Kayaki, Takao Ikariya
A concise asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of diaryl ketones, promoted by bifunctional Ru complexes with an etherial linkage between 1,2-diphenylethylenediamine (DPEN) and η6-arene ligands, was successfully developed. Because of the effective discrimination of substituents at the ortho position on the aryl group, unsymmetrical benzophenones were smoothly reduced in a 5:2 mixture of formic acid and triethylamine with an unprecedented level of excellent enantioselectivity. For the non-ortho-substituted benzophenones, the oxo-tethered catalyst electronically discerned biased substrates, resulting in attractive performance yielding chiral diarylmethanols with >99% ee.