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Gold(I) mediated thiourea organocatalyst activation: A synergic effect for asymmetric catalysis. Anabel Izaga, Raquel P. Herrera, M. Concepción Gimeno, ChemCatChem, 2017, 10.1002/cctc.201601527.
Abstract. Several group 11 metal complexes with chiral thiourea organocatalysts have been prepared and tested as organocatalysts. The promising results on the influence of metal assisted thiourea organocatalysts in the asymmetric Friedel-Crafts alkylation of indole with nitrostyrene are described. Better results with the metal complexes have been achieved because of the cooperative effects between the chiral thiourea and the metal. The synergic effect between both species is higher than the effect promoted by each one separately, especially for gold(I). These outcomes are attributed to a pioneering gold(I) activation of the thiourea catalysts, affording a more acidic and rigid catalytic complex than that provided by the thiourea alone. Furthermore, the use of the gold-thiourea organocatalyst allows reducing the catalyst loading to 1-3 mol%. This contribution could become an important starting point for further investigations opening a new line of research overlooked so far in the literature.
Keywords. thiourea, gold, asymmetric, organocatalysis, synergy