- Zhao, Y.; Cotelle, Y.; Liu, L.; López-Andarias, J.; Bornhof, A.-B.; Akamatsu, M.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “The Emergence of Anion-π Catalysis” Acc. Chem. Res. 2018, 51, 2255-2263
The objective of this Account is to summarize the first five years of anion−π catalysis. The general idea of anion−π catalysis is to stabilize anionic transition states on aromatic surfaces. This is complementary to the stabilization of cationic transition states on aromatic surfaces, a mode of action that occurs in nature and is increasingly used in chemistry. Anion−π catalysis, however, rarely occurs in nature and has been unexplored in chemistry. Probably because the attraction of anions to π surfaces as such is counterintuitive, anion−π interactions in general are much younger than cation−π interactions and remain under-recognized until today. Anion−π catalysis has emerged from early findings that anion−π interactions can mediate the transport of anions across lipid bilayer membranes. With this evidence for stabilization in the ground state secured, there was no reason to believe that anion−π interactions could not also stabilize anionic transition states.