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All enantiopure atropisomeric (atropos) ligands essentially require enantiomeric resolution or synthetic transformation from a chiral pool. In sharp contrast, the use of tropos (chirally flexible) ligands, which are highly modular, versatile, and easy to synthesize without enantiomeric resolution, has recently been the topic of much interest in asymmetric catalysis. Racemic catalysts bearing tropos ligands can be applied to asymmetric catalysis through enantiomeric discrimination by the addition of a chiral source, which preferentially transforms one catalyst enantiomer into a highly activated catalyst enantiomer. Additionally, racemic catalysts bearing tropos ligands can also be utilized as atropos enantiopure catalysts obtained via the control of chirality by a chiral source followed by the memory of chirality. In this feature article, our results on the asymmetric catalysis via the combination of various central metals and tropos ligands are summarized.
A review, with 89 references, of chirally flexible tropos ligands in asymmetric catalysis. Stereocontrol can be achieved through tropos ligands, which are modular, versatile and easy to synthesise compared to atropos ligands, by addition of a chiral source, which transforms one enantiomer into an active catalyst.
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