Aminonitriles as building blocks in organic chemistry

α-Aminonitriles as versatile building blocks for N-heterocycles and natural products

Although the chemistry of α-aminonitriles is known for over 160 years, these compounds are still relevant for today’s synthetic chemists. Due to their different modes of reactivity, α-aminonitriles can be employed as building blocks in the synthesis of a large variety of heterocyclic compounds, alkaloids, α-amino acids and branched amines.

In our research group, we are developing new strategies for the synthesis of amines and N-heterocycles and their application for the preparation of natural products. These methods make use of deprotonated α-aminonitriles as acyl anions or stabilized α-aminocarbanions and e.g. permit the preparation of mono- and dimeric benzylisoquinoline alkaloids with high optical purity.

For further information about our work on α-Aminonitriles please take a look at our list of publications.