Molecule of the Week

BINAP

September 1, 2008

The two BINAP enantiomers [(S)-BINAP is shown] are widely used as ligands in enantioselective organic synthesis. BINAP has no specific stereogenic centers; its chirality stems from sterically restricted rotation about the bond that connects the naphthalene rings. The 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Ryoji Noyori in part for his group’s development of this technology.