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Modularly Evolved 2-AminoDMAP/Squaramides as Highly Active Bifunctional Organocatalysts in Michael Addition

2015-01-16
Isik, Murat
Unver, M. Yagiz
Tanyeli, Cihangir
We report a new family of chiral bifunctional acid/base type organocatalysts, 2-aminoDMAP/Squaramides, which are proved to be highly active (1 mol % cat. loading) promoters in conjugate addition of dibenzoylmethane to various trans-beta-nitroalkenes. Steric demand of the catalysts was clearly seen by a set-by-set modulation of the squaramide unit through electronic and steric factors. The synergistic cooperation of 2-aminoDMAP "superbase" and sterically encumbered squaramide (H-bond donor) enabled complete conversion of a range of reactants into corresponding Michael adducts in a couple of hours with exquisite selectivities (up to 98% ee).