Induction of chiral porous solids containing only achiral building blocks


In many areas of chemistry the synthesis of chiral compounds is a target of increasing importance. They play a vital role in biological function and in many areas of society and science, including biology, medicine, biotechnology, chemistry and agriculture. Many pharmaceutical molecules, like their biological targets, are chiral and it is therefore easy to understand the growing demand for efficient methods of producing enantiomerically pure compounds. This is equally true for the preparation of chiral solids, which have potential applications in asymmetric catalysis, chiral separations and the like. In this Review we will consider recent progress and future potential in the development of methods for the preparation of chirally pure solids, in particular where the building blocks of the structure are achiral themselves. We will discuss strategies for the synthesis of both inorganic (for example, zeolites) and inorganic–organic hybrid (for example, metal organic framework) chiral porous solids.

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Figure 1: Strategies for preparing homochiral solids.
Figure 2: A selection of chiral zeolites.
Figure 3: The chiral induction effect of camphoric acid on the crystallization of the Mn–formate–adc system.
Figure 4: Chiral induction of the zeolite CZP by a nucleotide into the enantioenriched form.


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Morris, R., Bu, X. Induction of chiral porous solids containing only achiral building blocks. Nature Chem 2, 353–361 (2010).

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