Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.133, No.44, 17746-17752, 2011
Enantioselective Synthesis of Endohedral Metallofullerenes
Endohedral metallofullerenes are promising materials in biomedical and material sciences. In particular, they are of interest as agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), photovoltaic devices, and semimetallic components. The synthesis of chiral endofullerenes represents one step further in the potential use of these carbon allotropes; however, this step has not been addressed so far. In this regard, enantiopure endofullerenes are expected to open new, avenues in fields in which chirality is a key issue Here, the synthesis and characterization of the first chiral endohedral metallofullerenes, namely, chiral bis-adducts of La@C(72), are reported: Eight optically active isomers were obtained by enantioselective 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of a N-metalated azomethine ylide onto a non-isolated-pentagon rule metallofullerene derivative, La@C(72)(C(6)H(3)Cl(2)), catalyzed by a copper chiral complex. The chiral bis-adducts of La@C(72), isolated by nonchiral HPLC, showed optical purities as high as 98% as revealed by the remarkable positive or negative Cotton effects observed in the circular dichroic spectra.