Synthesis of xylal- and arabinal-based crown ethers and their application as asymmetric phase transfer catalysts

Tamás Nemcsok, Zsolt Rapi, Péter Bagi, György Keglevich, Péter Bakó

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New xylal- and arabinal-based monoaza-15-crown-5 ethers were synthesized starting from l- and d-xylose, and l- and d-arabinose, respectively. These monosaccharide-based chiral macrocycles were tested as phase transfer catalysts in a few asymmetric reactions. The xylal-based crown compounds proved to be efficient catalysts in a few liquid-liquid phase reactions. The epoxidation of trans-chalcone and the Darzens condensation of α-chloroacetophenone with benzaldehyde took place with complete diastereoselectivity and up to 77% ee and 58% ee, respectively. It was found that the substituents in the aromatic ring of the chalcone and the α-chloroacetophenone had an influence on the enantioselectivity. The highest ee values were obtained in the epoxidation of 4-chlorochalcone (81% ee) and in the reaction of a 2-naphthyl analogue (96% ee), while in the Darzens condensation of 4-phenyl-α-chloroacetophenone with benzaldehyde, a maximum ee of 91% was detected. The configuration of the monosaccharide unit in the crown ring influenced the absolute configuration of the epoxyketones synthesized.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • asymmetric epoxidation
  • carbohydrate-based macrocycles
  • Darzens condensation
  • enantioselectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry

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