Design of Novel Uncharged Organic Superbases: Merging Basicity and Functionality

Emerging organosuperbase families
Examples of emerging organosuperbase families

In a recent account Design of Novel Uncharged Organic Superbases: Merging Basicity and Functionality. Acc. Chem. Res. 2021, 54, 3108-3123 four groups doing research at the forefront of superbase chemistry – IOCB (Czech Republic), Rudjer Boskovic Institute (Croatia), Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany) and our group at University of Tartu – have joined forces in charting the direction for further developments of the whole organosuperbases area. What synthetic chemists need, are “non-ionic, metal-free superbases as chemically stable neutral organic compounds of moderate molecular weight, with intrinsically high thermodynamic basicity, adaptable kinetic basicity, and weak or tunable nucleophilicity at their basicity centres”. Such superbases would be are useful, being able to catalyze a number of reactions that are impossible otherwise.

The account demonstrates that just trying to achieve ever higher basicity is not the main challenge. Very high basicities have been demonstrated, both computationally and experimentally. Instead, the combination of high basicity with moderate molecular weight, ease of synthesis and stability is the key issue.

The account starts with the state of the art of neutral organic superbase research, theirs synthesis and basicity measurements, as well as computations and thereafter presents several examples of emerging organosuperbase families (see the Figure on the left) and discusses their synthesis, basicity and demonstrated, as well as potential applications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.