Chapter 1

Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Tetrasubstituted Olefins

Kristen Ryan and Robert B. Kargbo


The asymmetric hydrogenation of tetrasubstituted olefins has been one of the most formidable challenges in the reduction of olefins. While the reduction of diand tri-substituted olefins has grown at a rapid pace, the reduction of tetrasubstituted olefins has grown at a much slower rate. However, there have been a number of pivotal breakthroughs, from the reports of Zhou and Buchwald to the advent of the discovery of the chiral phosphoramidite ligands. In addition, high throughput experimentation has been very beneficial in the discovery of rapid and useful reaction conditions to affect remarkable selectivities. This led to the discovery of rhodium-Josiphos based catalysts, which have been frequently used in the asymmetric reduction of tetrasubstituted olefins.

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