Chirality sensing of tertiary alcohols by a novel strong hydrogen-bonding donor – selenourea†
Chemical sensors are powerful for the fast recognition of chiral compounds. However, the established sensing systems are less effective for chiral tertiary alcohols. The chiral tertiary alcohol group is an important structural unit in natural products and drug molecules, and its enantioselective recognition represents a significant and challenging task. In this paper, a novel type of chiral bisselenourea sensor was first synthesized and used as a strong hydrogen-bonding donor for highly efficient chiral recognition of a diverse range of tertiary alcohols. The obtained sharply split NMR signals are well-distinguishable with a large (up to 0.415 ppm) chemical shift nonequivalence. The NMR signal of the hydroxyl hydrogen atom was first employed for enantiomeric excess determination of tertiary alcohols, giving accurate results with <2% absolute errors. The 2D NOESY spectra and computational studies suggest that the geometrical differentiation of the formed diastereomeric complexes between the sensor and tertiary alcohols enables the chiral discrimination of the hydroxyl hydrogen signals of the tertiary alcohol in the 1H NMR spectrum.