Background: This review is focused on important and useful group of natural compounds
called terpenes. From this versatile class of natural, optically active compounds various derivatives,
bearing different functional groups can be chosen and easily transformed to “green” reagents and catalysts.
Introduction of a chalcogen in the structure of a terpene provides additional interesting properties
associated with their reactivity. This is the first review summarizing the utilization of terpenes in the
synthesis of organoselenium and organotellurium compounds. Methods: Collected material was divided
into two sections. First, including terpene derivatives containing selenium and second, tellurium atom.
Results: The synthesis and application of all derivatives was presented. In most cases, presented organochalcogenides
were built up from a camphane skeleton. Compounds described herein were consequently divided according to the location
of the selenium or tellurium atom in the structure of the bornane scaffold, and as a separate section in other terpenyl
derivatives from p-menthane, pinane and carane groups. Conclusion: In this paper we present the applicability of terpenes
in constructing new, chiral selenium and tellurium containing compounds and their utilization in asymmetric synthesis.
The pursuit of making chemistry more “green” is constantly increasing and terpenes with their unique properties and
availability seem to fit this goal perfectly.
Keywords: Chirality, monoterpenes, organoselenium and organotellurium compounds, terpenes.
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