Enantioselective catalysis of photochemical reactions

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Mar 23;54(13):3872-90. doi: 10.1002/anie.201411409. Epub 2015 Feb 27.


The nature of the excited state renders the development of chiral catalysts for enantioselective photochemical reactions a considerable challenge. The absorption of a 400 nm photon corresponds to an energy uptake of approximately 300 kJ mol(-1) . Given the large distance to the ground state, innovative concepts are required to open reaction pathways that selectively lead to a single enantiomer of the desired product. This Review outlines the two major concepts of homogenously catalyzed enantioselective processes. The first part deals with chiral photocatalysts, which intervene in the photochemical key step and induce an asymmetric induction in this step. In the second part, reactions are presented in which the photochemical excitation is mediated by an achiral photocatalyst and the transfer of chirality is ensured by a second chiral catalyst (dual catalysis).

Keywords: asymmetric catalysis; enantioselectivity; homogeneous catalysis; photocatalysis; photochemistry.