Synlett 2017; 28(03): 306-315
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1588654
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Design of Experiments: A Rational Approach Toward Non-­Covalent Asymmetric Organocatalysis

P. Renzi*
M. Bella*
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 06 September 2016

Accepted after revision: 27 October 2016

Publication Date:
08 December 2016 (online)


This account describes, from a personal point of view, the possible strategies to tackle and optimize non-covalent organocatalyzed reactions. When chemical intermediates are covalently bound, predictive mechanistic scenarios can be depicted. In contrast, there are several organocatalyzed transformations (e.g., those employing cinchona alkaloids) for which optimization is essentially based on a trial-and-error approach. The experience of the authors is that these reactions can be tackled with a rational approach employing Design of Experiments (DoE). This tool is widely exploited in industrial process chemistry, but is little known within academia. The purpose of this account is to show the effectiveness and utility of DoE in asymmetric non-covalently organocatalyzed reactions, discussing selected examples.

1 Introduction: Covalently and Non-Covalently Asymmetric Organocatalyzed Reactions

2 The Challenge: Optimizing (in a Rational Way) Non-Covalently Organocatalyzed Reactions without Deep Knowledge of the Mechanism. Case Study 1

3 The Solution: DoE Might be the Best Possible Tool to Approach these Issues

4 The Application of DoE to Kinetic Resolution. Case Study 2

5 Conclusions and Outlook

  • References

  • 1 Current address: Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Regensburg, Universitätsstraße 31, 93040 Regensburg, Germany.
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