Part of running an unbiased and feature driven Organic Chemistry education service is recommending students to outside websites for alternative stimulating content. The Chemistry Cascade is a WordPress blog site that highlights interesting recent developments in synthetic and mechanistic Organic Chemistry. The brief articles encapsulating novel chemical research are abstracted from major American Chemical Society journals, and are well presented.
The Diels-Alder reaction is a very powerful and selective means for introducing densely packed relative stereochemistry in one synthetic step. The term “relative stereochemistry” is used reiteratively to clearly indicate the typical reaction is not stereoselectively producing one enantiomer over another. Such an outcome would require the transition state taking place in an asymmetric environment. Part One revealed how the reaction is useful in the synthesis of simple six-membered rings, however the synthetic utility spans beyond this.