WARF: P05171US

Seven-Membered Heterocyclic Carbenes Coordinate with a Variety of Metals to Generate Chiral Metal Complexes


Shannon Stahl, Christopher Scarborough

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing seven-membered carbenes that are especially useful in asymmetric catalysis.
OVERVIEWSelective synthesis of chiral compounds, rather than mixtures of mirror image forms (enantiomers), is an active area of chemical research. N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) show some usefulness in catalyzing reactions that favor the formation of one enantiomer over another; however, most of the currently known NHCs use a planar or nearly planar heterocyclic framework, limiting their ability to successfully catalyze many enantiomeric reactions.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed non-planar N-heterocyclic carbenes that are especially useful in asymmetric catalysis. These seven-membered carbenes have intrinsic chirality, making them naturally selective toward particular enantiomeric forms. They coordinate with a variety of metals to generate chiral metal complexes, which can be widely used in metal-catalyzed reactions for the synthesis of organic compounds, including those used in pharmaceutical compositions.
  • Asymmetric catalysis
  • Applicable to any reaction where NHCs are used
  • Chirality can be controlled to produce the desired enantiomeric form.
  • Carbene ligands have C-2 symmetry.
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For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at or 608-960-9845.
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