Enantioselective Synthesis of Ammonium Cations
Matthew Kitching describes the synthesis and importance of ammonium cations.
Recently the group of Dr. Matthew Kitching at Durham University (UK) reported a fascinating and ground-breaking achievement: the enantioselective synthesis of elusive stereogenic ammonium cations. “Chirality has always fascinated synthetic chemists. Given that the biological world is one rich in sources of chiral information, the importance of enriched stereocenters on the activity and selectivity of organic molecules has been of longstanding interest to the organic chemistry community. Dr. Kitching said that “to date, the attention of the synthetic community has been focused on the enrichment of carbon stereocenters, with successful strategies for their construction being realized by many generations of synthetic chemists. However, the construction of stereochemical information at heteroatomic centers has received less attention. Whilst phosphorus and sulfur have seen solutions to controlling the stereochemistry of these centers, nitrogen heteroatoms have been avoided due to this atom’s reputation for stereochemical lability.
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