Organocatalysis for the asymmetric michael addition of cycloketones and α, β-unsaturated nitroalkenes

Jae Ho Shim, Byung Kook Ahn, Ji Yeon Lee, Hyeon Soo Kim, Deok Chan Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Michael addition is one of the most important carbon–carbon bond formation reactions. In this study, an (R, R)-1,2-diphenylethylenediamine (DPEN)-based thiourea organocatalyst was applied to the asymmetric Michael addition of nitroalkenes and cycloketones to produce a chiral product. The primary amine moiety in DPEN reacts with the ketone to form an enamine and is activated through the hydrogen bond formation between the nitro group in the α, β-unsaturated nitroalkene and thiourea. Here, the aim was to obtain an asymmetric Michael product through the 1,4-addition of the enamine to an alkene to form a new carbon–carbon bond. As a result, the primary amine of the chiral diamine was converted into an enamine. The reaction proceeded with a relatively high level of enantioselectivity achieved using double activation through the hydrogen bonding of the nitro group and thiourea. Michael products with high levels of enantioselectivity (76–99% syn ee) and diastereoselectivity (syn/anti = 9/1) were obtained with yields in the range of 88–99% depending on the ketone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1004
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Tech Incubator Program for startup Korea (TIPS-S2948051).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Asymmetric synthesis
  • Cycloketone
  • Diastereoselectivity
  • Enantioselectivity
  • Michael addition
  • Organocatalyst
  • Thiourea catalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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