Salen Ligands

William Sommer, Daniel Weibel

Aldrich ChemFiles 2008, 8.2, 71.

Salen molecules have been studied for more than six decades. However, in 1990 Jacobsen and Katsuki independently published the first reports of salen used as ligands with manganese for asymmetric epoxidation reactions.1 Since these first reports, the area of metal-salen catalysis has expanded greatly. A plethora of metal-salen complexes have been synthesized and used in a variety of catalyzed asymmetric transformations.2 For example, chromium and cobalt salen complexes catalyze the epoxidation of unfunctionalized olefins with high levels of enantioselectivities.3 Aluminum salen complexes catalyze the conjugate addition of azide to unsaturated imides.4 The easy synthesis and modifications of the salen ligand framework made it the platform of choice for the discovery of new catalysts and reactions.

Examples of the versatility of the salen complexes

Scheme 1.Examples of the versatility of the salen complexes



Zhang W, Loebach JL, Wilson SR, Jacobsen EN. 1990. Enantioselective epoxidation of unfunctionalized olefins catalyzed by salen manganese complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 112(7):2801-2803.
Weiss E. Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry. The Synthesis, Reactions and Structures of Organometallic Compounds. Neun Bände. Editors G. Wilkinson, F. G. A. Stone, E. W. Abel. Pergamon Press, Oxford 1982. Insgesamt ca. 8500 S., geb. £ 1075.00. Volume 1. Angewandte Chemie. 95(10):819-819.
Jacobsen EN, Zhang W, Muci AR, Ecker JR, Deng L. 1991. Highly enantioselective epoxidation catalysts derived from 1,2-diaminocyclohexane. J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 113(18):7063-7064.

Social Media

LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
Facebook Icon
Instagram Icon


Research. Development. Production.

We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.

© 2021 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any materials from the site is strictly forbidden without permission.