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“On Water” Organocatalyzed [4 + 2] Cycloaddition of Enones and Nitro Dienes for the Enantioselective Synthesis of Densely Substituted Cyclohexanones

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journal contribution
posted on 27.04.2016 by Ganga B. Vamisetti, Raghunath Chowdhury, Mukesh Kumar, Sunil K. Ghosh
An “on water” hydroquinine-based primary amine–benzoic acid organocatalyst system was found to be best suited to produce 3,4,5-trisubstituted cyclohexanones with a nitro group in the 4-position from enones and nitro dienes under ambient conditions in good yield, with good diastereoselectivity, and with excellent enantioselectivity. An appreciable rate enhancement by water was observed compared to organic solvents. Mechanistic analysis of the reaction suggests that it followed an endo [4 + 2] cycloaddition with enamine of enone as diene and nitro diene as dienophile.