Subprogram 2: Synthesis and catalysis

The Feringa group has a longstanding expertise in synthesis and catalysis. Our development of monodentate chiral phosphoramidite ligands has resulted in a paradigm shift in asymmetric catalysis, as it was demonstrated that bidentate chiral ligands are not a sine qua non to achieve high enantioselectivity in transition metal catalysis. The first highly enantioselective catalytic 1,4-addition with Grignard reagents and allylic alkylation with organolithium compounds, key synthetic transformations, solved longstanding issues in the field of asymmetric catalysis. Additionally, the Feringa group has been credited with resurrecting the Murahashi coupling, by finally taming organolithium reagents for selective cross coupling. A major advance is also the design of the first DNA-based asymmetric catalysis in water including enantioselective addition of water in water. Current interests include:

Organolithium reagents

The origin of homochirality