Aqueous Phase Asymmetric Catalysis
Although stereoselective transformations in living systems occur in an aqueous environment, it was only recently that a breakthrough was achieved in the use of water as a solvent or co-solvent in asymmetric synthesis. While few years ago, only a few practitioners studied the subject, now organic reactions in water have become one of the most exciting research areas, not only because of green chemistry perspectives. Both organometallic and organocatalytic processes in aqueous systems are of great interest and are under intensive investigation. This chapter will focus on recent advances in performing enantioselective reactions in aqueous media. The quest to identify water-compatible catalysts has evoked an intense search for new exciting possibilities. Here, we summarize recent efforts towards asymmetric transformations performed in water or in the presenceof water, with a focus on homogeneous solutions.