This mini-review outlines recent (until the end of 2006) key developments in the use of β-cyclodextrin as a catalyst in organic synthesis. β-cyclodextrin is a water soluble supramolecular catalyst especially useful for transformations such as oxirane ring-opening, aziridine oxidation of alcohols, hydrolysis of phosphate esters and amidation of acids. It has been used for the selective synthesis of 2,6- naphthalene dicarboxylic acid, introduction of protecting groups and for ester cleavage. Interestingly, it has also been used in the aza- Michael addition of amines to conjugated alkenes, in photo-Reimer-Tiemann reactions and as a phase transfer catalyst.
Keywords: β-cyclodextrin, oxidation and reduction, protection and deprotection, phase transfer catalyst, aqueous medium
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