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Pure Appl. Chem., 2001, Vol. 73, No. 2, pp. 343-346

Interplay of synthesis and mechanism in asymmetric homogeneous catalysis

Nicholas J. Adams1, Joachim Bargon2, John M. Brown1*, Edward J. Farrington1, Erwan Galardon1, Ralf Giernoth1, Hanjo Heinrich2, Benjamin D. John1 and Kenji Maeda1

1 Dyson Perrins Laboratory, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
2 Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie der Universität Bonn, Wegelerstrasse 12, D-53115 Bonn, Germany

Abstract: Asymmetric homogeneous catalysis forms one of the main planks of modern organic synthesis. It has developed rapidly and largely through the application of novel ligands, whose design is very much based on insight and intuition. At the same time, a better understanding of catalytic reaction mechanisms can contribute to further progress, since it can identify the intimate relationship between ligand structure and successful applications. The presentation will concentrate on the author's research with complexes of the late transition metals and include the search for superior methodologies in hydroboration, as well as ventures into the chemistry of reactive intermediates. The latter will be exemplified from work with rhodium and palladium catalysts.