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Asymmetric Synthesis of Chiral Primary Amines by Transfer Hydrogenation of N-(tert-Butanesulfinyl)ketimines

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journal contribution
posted on 06.08.2010 by David Guijarro, Óscar Pablo, Miguel Yus
The diastereoselective reduction of (R)-N-(tert-butanesulfinyl)ketimines by a ruthenium-catalyzed asymmetric transfer hydrogenation process in isopropyl alcohol, followed by desulfinylation of the nitrogen atom, is an excellent method to prepare highly enantiomerically enriched α-branched primary amines (up to >99% ee) in short reaction times (1−4 h). (1S,2R)-1-Amino-2-indanol has been shown to be a very efficient ligand to perform this transformation. Ketimines bearing either an aryl or a heteroaryl group and an alkyl group as substituents of the iminic carbon atom are very good substrates for this process. The reduction of a dialkyl ketimine could also be achieved, affording the expected amine with moderate optical purity (69% ee). Some amines which are precursors of very interesting biologically and pharmacologically active compounds have been prepared in excellent yields and enantiomeric excesses.