SKKU: A Research Team Led by Prof. Dohyun Ryu, Developed the Synthetic Method of Chiral Trisubstituted Epoxides

A research team led by Prof Dohyun Ryu (1st author: Dongguk Nam) succeed in developing the synthetic method of chiral trisubstituted epoxides using boron-Lewis acid catalyst.

The chiral epoxide compounds have received much attention from academia and industry as a key intermediate in the synthesis of biologically active molecules such as natural and pharmaceutical products and the catalyst synthesis method won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001. Until recently, leading overseas research groups have published research results on the development of synthetic methods, but no examples of asymmetric synthesis of trisubstituted epoxides using diazoesters.

Thus, the research team synthesized chiral trisubstituted epoxides with high yield, stereoselectivity, and high optical selectivity through Darzens-type reaction using boron-Lewis acid catalyst. The developed reaction is very efficient in terms of atom economy and eco-friendliness because it uses simple structural starting materials and produces by-products of nitrogen gas only.

Professor Ryu said “The synthesis of chiral trisubstituted epoxide compounds using the Dazens reaction is a task that has not been solved in the past 20 years. The significance of this study is that it first synthesized trisubstituted epoxide with high yield and stereoselectivity using catalysts and presented various applications.”

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