A few molecules can control the enantiomeric outcome. Evidence supporting absolute asymmetric synthesis using the Soai asymmetric autocatalysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • [reaction: see text] Experiments were carried out to investigate whether the Soai asymmetric autocatalysis can accomplish true absolute asymmetric synthesis. In 54 reactions, R and S enantiomeric products were obtained 27 times each. Of 25 pairs of side-by-side identical reactions, 12 afforded opposite enantiomers. In a test of the mechanistic viability of a random-chance process, it was found that a very few molecules (approximately 60 000) were sufficient to control the enantiomeric outcome of these reactions. These observations appear most consistent with asymmetric synthesis originating from the chance enantiomeric excess in a racemate.

author list (cited authors)

  • Singleton, D. A., & Vo, L. K

citation count

  • 112

complete list of authors

  • Singleton, Daniel A||Vo, Loan K

publication date

  • January 2003