Advances in desymmetrising asymmetric radical chemistry by SUSTech researchers


Enantioselective desymmetrization of a prochiral or meso compound is a powerful tool for the synthesis of enantiomerically enriched molecules. Over the past decade, there has been tremendous progress in the area of developing new enantioselective desymmetrization reactions. However, in contrast to widely explored polar desymmetrization transformations, only a limited number of catalytic enantioselective radical desymmetrization reactions have been disclosed. Moreover, the catalyst-controlled enantiodiscrimination in these reactions has always been done before the functionalization of alkyl radicals, through which the challenging enantiocontrol over alkyl radicals is obviated.

Recently, Professor Xin-Yuan Liu from the Department of Chemistry at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) has led his research team to publish a breakthrough paper in Nature Catalysis, one of the preeminent academic journals on chemistry. This paper is entitled “Catalytic enantioselective desymmetrising functionalization of alkyl radicals via Cu(I)/CPA cooperative catalysis”