Andreas Pfaltz has a longstanding interest in the design of chiral ligands for asymmetric catalysis. The semicorrins developed in his group served as the prototype for an important family of nitrogen ligands, the bisoxazolines, which have found widespread use in catalytic asymmetric synthesis. His work on phosphinooxazolines, known as PHOX ligands, has led to numerous efficient chiral transition metal catalysts. Most noteworthy are iridium-PHOX and other N, P ligand complexes, which have greatly enhanced the scope of asymmetric hydrogenation. In contrast to rhodium- or ruthenium-diphosphine complexes, these iridium-based catalysts do not require a coordinating group next to the C=C bond and, therefore, perform well with a wide range of structurally diverse olefins. They have also been successfully used for the hydrogenation of imines and heterocycles such as furans and indoles.
Pfaltz Group Website