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Review of 'Organocatalysts for enantioselective synthesis of fine chemicals: definitions, trends and developments'

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    Rated 4 of 5.
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Organocatalysts for enantioselective synthesis of fine chemicals: definitions, trends and developments

(2015)
Organocatalysis, that is the use of small organic molecules to catalyse organic transformations, has been included among the most successful concepts in asymmetric catalysis and it has been used for the enantioselective construction of C-C, C-N, C-O, C-S, C-P, and C-halide bonds. Since the seminal works in early 2000, the scientific community has been paying an ever-growing attention to the use of organocatalysts for the synthesis, with high yields and remarkable stereoselectivities, of optically active fine chemicals of interest for the pharmaceutical industry. A brief overview is here presented about the two main classes of substrate activation by the catalyst: covalent organocatalysis and non-covalent organocatalysis, with a more stringent focus on some recent outcomes in the field of the latter and of hydrogen-bond-based catalysis. Finally, some successful examples of heterogenisation of organocatalysts are also discussed, in the view of a potential industrial exploitation.
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    Review information

    10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-CHEM.AGZIIB.v2.RZNOCQ

    This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

    Review text

    Biocatalysis, transition-metal catalysis and organocatalsis are three major tools in synthetic chemists’ tool box for asymmetric catalysis. Organocatalsis was coined in 2000, but exited in literature for more a hundred years. Since 2000, the field has boomed. The manuscript presented here gives a brief introduction to modern organocatalysis. It has reviewed covalent and non-covalent organocatysis and their applications. It is a good reading for new comer in organocatlysis. However significant improvements are necessary.
    1. For covalent organocatalysis, the authors only mentioned enamine and iminium catalysis. Why other covalent interactions, for example NHC and SOMO activation, were omitted?
    2. Only H-bonding, including stronger Brøsted acids, was introduced as non-covalent interaction. Other important non-covalent interactions, such Lewis base and PTC catalysis, should be included.
    3. There are many comprehensive reviews already in the literature. What is the difference between this manuscript and others? The authors should focus on this. Industrial and immobilized organocatalysis mentioned in the last part of this review are two good subjects, which have not discussed comprehensively.

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