Emergence of single-molecular chirality from achiral reactants

Steendam, René R. E. and Verkade, Jorge M.M. and van Benthem, Tim J.B. and Meekes, Hugo and van Enckevort, Willem J.P. and Raap, Jan and Rutjes, Floris P.J.T. and Vlieg, Elias (2014) Emergence of single-molecular chirality from achiral reactants. Nature Communications, 5. 5543. ISSN 2041-1723

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    Abstract

    The synthesis of enantiopure molecules from achiral precursors without the need for pre-existing chirality is a major challenge associated with the origin of life. We here show that an enantiopure product can be obtained from achiral starting materials in a single organic reaction. An essential characteristic of this reaction is that the chiral product precipitates from the solution, introducing a crystal-solution interface which functions as an asymmetric autocatalytic system that provides sufficient chiral amplification to reach an enantiopure end state. This approach not only provides more insight into the origin of life but also offers a pathway to acquire enantiopure compounds for industrial applications.

    ORCID iDs

    Steendam, René R. E. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3363-4160, Verkade, Jorge M.M., van Benthem, Tim J.B., Meekes, Hugo, van Enckevort, Willem J.P., Raap, Jan, Rutjes, Floris P.J.T. and Vlieg, Elias;