Synfacts 2011(4): 0447-0447  
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1259614
Organo- and Biocatalysis
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart ˙ New York

Solvent-Dependance in Organocatalyzed Diels-Alder Reactions

Contributor(s): Benjamin List, Lars Ratjen
J. B. Brazier, K. M. Jones, J. A. Platts*, N. C. O. Tomkinson*
Cardiff University, UK
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
18 March 2011 (online)


The authors investigated the role of protic solvent systems for the imidazolidin­one 1 catalyzed Diels-Alder reaction of cinnam­aldehyde and cyclopentadiene. In aprotic solvents the addition of water presumably accelerates im­inium ion formation (shown by kinetic measurements), as well as product liberation by faster ­hydrolysis, prior to counterproductive and race-mizing retro-Diels-Alder reaction. In alcoholic solvents, such as methanol, the role of water appears to be somewhat more complex (see Scheme). The equilibrium of the parent aldehyde and its dimethyl acetal appears to be shifted to the aldehyde side, thus facilitating more efficient iminium ion formation and faster Diels-Alder reaction.