Recent developments in the use of aza-Heck cyclizations for the synthesis of chiral N-heterocycles

Nicholas J. Race, Ian R. Hazelden, Adele Faulkner, John F. Bower*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)
305 Downloads (Pure)


Aza-Heck cyclizations are an emerging method for the construction of chiral N-heterocyclic systems. In these processes, an activated N-O bond replaces the C-X bond (X = halide, OTf) used in conventional Heck reactions, with the associated aza-Pd(ii)-intermediate engaging pendant alkenes in a Heck-like manner. This perspective article commences with an historical overview of the area, which stems from Narasaka's seminal studies using oxime esters as the initiating motif. The scope and mechanism of associated chiral N-heterocyclic methodologies are then outlined, including cascade processes that enable diverse alkene 1,2-carboaminations. The recent emergence of new N-O donors and the realization of highly enantioselective aza-Heck cyclizations are then discussed. Collectively, these studies suggest that the aza-Heck approach can underpin a broad family of redox-neutral and enantioselective C-N bond forming processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5248-5260
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Science
Issue number8
Early online date23 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2017

Structured keywords

  • BCS and TECS CDTs


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