Efficient synthetic routes have been developed for the synthesis of a series of pyrrolidinyl-camphor containing organocatalysts (1-10). Structural modifications were made by varying the stereo- and electronic properties of the camphor scaffold and the aromatic substituents. These readily tunable and amphiphilic organocatalysts were evaluated for the direct asymmetric aldol reaction of various aromatic aldehydes and cyclohexanone either in organic solvents or in the presence of water. The aldol reaction proceeded smoothly with excellent chemical yields (up to 99%), enantioselectivities (up to 99% ee), and anti-diastereoselectivities (up to 99:1) with a catalytical amount of the bifunctional organocatalysts (20 mol %) under optimal reaction conditions. Mechanistic transition models are proposed and the stereochemical bias of the asymmetric aldol reaction is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas