chapter  Chapter 2
82 Pages

Structural Design for Molecular Catalysts

WithQingmin Ji, Qin Tang, Jonathan P. Hill, Katsuhiko Ariga

This chapter presents the success of different synthesis strategies for molecular catalysts or catalytic active ligands from organometallic, organic non-metallic, and biological groups. In comparison with purely organic compounds, organometallic compounds show unique chemical properties, including structural diversity, variety of available interactions, and possibility of ligand exchange. Designing a protein to accommodate a non-native transition metal complex can broaden the scope of enzymatic transformations and enhance the activity/selectivity for small-molecule catalysis. Through the design of Bronsted acids with a variety of structures and activation mechanisms, they can be tuned to support high yield and enantioselectivity in a variety of reactions, including Strecker and Mannich reactions, Diels–Alder reaction, hydrogenations and Michael additions. J. N. Johnston et al. designed a metal-free organocatalyst based on a properly balanced Bronsted acid/base bifunctional catalyst, which may bring the virtues of minimalism for the formation of C–O bonds.