Desymmetrization of cyclic 1,3-diketones via Ir-catalyzed hydrogenation: an efficient approach to cyclic hydroxy ketones with a chiral quaternary carbon†
We herein report an efficient method to synthesize cyclic hydroxy ketones with a chiral quaternary center. Catalyzed by an Ir/f-ampha complex, cyclic α,α-disubstituted 1,3-diketones were hydrogenated, giving mono-reduced products with both high enantioselectivities and diastereoselectivities. In addition, CC and CC bonds could survive in this catalytic system. This method was applied in the preparation of (+)-estrone. No diols were observed in this chemical transformation. The enantiomeric and diastereomeric induction were achieved as a result of steric hindrance.