Posts Tagged ‘Enantioselective’

Why the Sharpless epoxidation is enantioselective!

Monday, December 17th, 2012
No Gravatar

Part one on this topic showed how a quantum mechanical model employing just one titanium centre was not successful in predicting the stereochemical outcome of the Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation. Here in part 2, I investigate whether a binuclear model might have more success. The new model is constructed using two units of Ti(OiPr)4, which are likely to assemble into a dimer such as that shown below (in this crystal structure, some of the iPr groups are perfluorinated).


Why is the Sharpless epoxidation enantioselective? Part 1: a simple model.

Sunday, December 9th, 2012
No Gravatar

Sharpless epoxidation converts a prochiral allylic alcohol into the corresponding chiral epoxide with > 90% enantiomeric excess[1],[2]. Here is the first step in trying to explain how this magic is achieved.



  1. J.M. Klunder, S.Y. Ko, and K.B. Sharpless, "Asymmetric epoxidation of allyl alcohol: efficient routes to homochiral .beta.-adrenergic blocking agents", The Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 51, pp. 3710-3712, 1986.
  2. R.M. Hanson, and K.B. Sharpless, "Procedure for the catalytic asymmetric epoxidation of allylic alcohols in the presence of molecular sieves", The Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 51, pp. 1922-1925, 1986.