Cooperative catalysis, the simultaneous binding and activation of reacting partners resulting in both the pre-organization of the substrates and stabilization of the transition state structures, is a fundamental principle in enzymatic catalysis. For cooperative catalysis using small organic molecules, we recently developed a new structural motif for multifunctional catalysts that can be used to generate a chiral anion from an inorganic salt in “one phase”. Using this chial anion generator as an organocatalyst, excellent catalytic activity and enantioselectivity have been achieved for a range of organic reactions. The single crystal X-ray structure of the complex of the catalyst and a potassium salt (e.g. KF) provides interesting insight into the origin of the catalytic activity and stereoselectivity.1-3
1. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 7683-7686.
2. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 8915-8917.
3. Nature Communications 2012, 3, 1212.