Beilstein J Org Chem. 2022 Oct 10;18:1416-1423. doi: 10.3762/bjoc.18.147. eCollection 2022.
In this paper, we report the mechanochemical synthesis of unsymmetrical salens using grinding and ball milling technologies, respectively, both of which were afforded in good yield. The chelating effect of the unsymmetrical salens with zinc, copper, and cobalt was studied and the chiral Co-salen complex 2f was obtained in 98% yield. Hydrolytic kinetic resolution (HKR) of epichlorohydrin with water catalyzed by complex 2f (0.5 mol %) was explored and resulted in 98% ee, suggesting complex 2f could serve as an enantioselective catalyst for the asymmetric ring opening of terminal epoxides by phenols. A library of α-aryloxy alcohols 3 was thereafter synthesized in good yield and high ee using 2f via the phenolic KR of epichlorohydrin.