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    The electrochemical cathodic reduction of cyclic imides (maleimides) to succinimides can be achieved chemoselectively in the presence of alkene, alkyne, and benzyl groups. The efficiency of the system was demonstrated by using a 3D electrode in a continuous flow reactor. The reduction of 3,4-dimethylmaleimides to the corresponding succinimides proceeds with a 3:2 diastereomeric ratio, which is independent of the nitrogen substituent and electrode surface area. The stereoselectivity of the process was rationalized by using DFT calculations, involving an acid-catalyzed tautomerization of a half-enol occurring through a double hydrogen-transfer mechanism. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    Kathryn Rix, Geoffrey H Kelsall, Klaus Hellgardt, King Kuok Mimi Hii. Chemo- and diastereoselectivities in the electrochemical reduction of maleimides. ChemSusChem. 2015 Feb;8(4):665-71

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    PMID: 25572428

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