Chiral phosphoramide-catalyzed aldol additions of ketone trichlorosilyl enolates. Mechanistic aspects

Scott E. Denmark, Son M. Pham, Robert A. Stavenger, Xiping Su, Ken Tsung Wong, Yutaka Nishigaichi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanism of the catalytic, enantioselective addition of trichlorosilyl enolates to aldehydes has been investigated. Kinetic studies using ReactIR and rapid injection NMR (RINMR) spectroscopy have confirmed the simultaneous operation of dual mechanistic pathways involving either one or two phosphoramides bound to a siliconium ion organizational center. This mechanistic dichotomy was initially postulated on the basis of catalyst loading studies and nonlinear effects studies. This duality explains the difference in reactivity and stereoselectivity of various classes of phosphoramides. Determination of Arrhenius activation parameters revealed that aldol addition occurs through the reversible albeit unfavorable formation of an activated complex, and natural-abundance 13C NMR kinetic isotope effect (KIE) studies have determined that the turnover limiting step is the aldol addition. A thorough examination of a range of phosphoramides has established empirical structure-activity selectivity relationships. In addition, the effects of catalyst loading, rate of addition, solvents, and additives have been studied and together allow the formulation of a unified mechanistic picture for the aldol addition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3904-3922
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 12 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


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