Selective activation of organocatalysts by specific signals

Chandan Maity, Fanny Trausel, Rienk Eelkema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Reminiscent of signal transduction in biological systems, artificial catalysts whose activity can be controlled by physical or chemical signals would be of high interest in the design of chemical systems that can respond to their environment. Self-immolative chemistry offers a generic method for the development of catalysts that can be activated by different signals. To demonstrate the versatility of that concept, we synthesized organocatalysts that can be activated by three different signals and that can be used to control two different reactions. In this way the organocatalyst proline is designed as a pro-catalyst that is activated either by the chemical signal H2O2, by light or by the enzyme penicillin acylase. The pro-catalysts were used to exert temporal control over the rate of an aldol reaction and a Michael reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5999-6005
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Science
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2018

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