The effect on catalyst performance of altering substituents at the 2-position of the Macmillan imidazolidinone has been examined. Condensation of L-phenylalanine N-methyl amide with acetophenone derivatives results in a series of imidazolidinones whose salts can be used to accelerate the Diels-Alder cycloaddition. Electron withdrawing groups significantly increases the overall rate of cycloaddition without compromise in selectivity. The most effective catalyst was shown to be efficient for a variety of substrates and the applicability of this catalyst to alternative secondary amine catalysed transformations is also discussed.
- catalyst performance
- catalyst activity