Achieving elusive transformations with organocatalysis: direct $\beta $-carbon activation of saturated carbonyl compounds


Abstract: Direct $\beta $-carbon activation of saturated carbonyl compounds for carrying out fast forward $\beta$-functionalization has been one of the most difficult to achieve tasks in catalysis. In the past few years, this challenging issue has attracted considerable attention among the chemical community that has led to fruitful developments to accomplish this elusive transformation. In this short review, we highlight recent developments for direct $\beta $-carbon functionalization of saturated carbonyl compounds based on conceptually new methods including oxidative enamine catalysis, $N$-heterocyclic carbene (NHC)-assisted catalysis, and photoredox catalysis.

Keywords: Organocatalysis, N-heterocyclic carbenes, sp$^{3}$ carbon activation, regioselectivity, photoredox catalysis

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