Trifunctional Organocatalysts: Catalytic Proficiency by Cooperative Activation

Ryan Kenny, Fei Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this microreview, trifunctional organocatalysts, defined as catalysts with three distinct mechanistic functionalities, are surveyed in order to understand not just catalytic activation but also catalysis orchestration. Related cases in which the mechanistic trifunctionality in catalysis is conferred by more than one singular catalyst are also evaluated. The potential role of highly functionalised organocatalysts toward organized catalysis with more complexity and proficiency is subsequently discussed to anticipate new challenges in biomimetic catalysis. Proficient trifunctional organocatalysts employ an expansive collection of chemical motifs in multiple modes of activation to provide concurrent enhancement in rate and enantioselectivity in complex reactions. These systems demonstrate catalytic cooperativity for a range of C-C, C-N, C-O, and C-X bond-forming reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5304-5319
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Asymmetric catalysis
  • Biomimetic synthesis
  • Collective catalysis
  • Enantioselective activation
  • Organised catalysis


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