We report herein an enantioselective conjugate addition reaction of a zinc homoenolate, catalytically generated via ring opening of a cyclopropanol, to an α,β-unsaturated ketone. The reaction is promoted by a zinc aminoalkoxide catalyst generated from Et2Zn and a chiral β-amino alcohol to afford 1,6- diketones, which undergo, upon heating, intramolecular aldol condensation to furnish highly substituted cyclopentene derivatives with good to high enantioselectivities. The reaction has proved applicable to various 1-substituted cyclopropanols as well as chalcones and related enones. The chiral amino alcohol has proved to enable ligand-accelerated catalysis of the homoenolate generation and its conjugate addition. Positive nonlinear effects and lower reactivity of a racemic catalyst have been observed, which can be attributed to a stable and inactive heterochiral zinc aminoalkoxide dimer.
SI ZnHomoenolate YS