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WingPhos: A Bidentate Ligand for Highly Enantioselective Transformations

The WingPhos ligand imparts excellent enantioselectivity in the formation of chiral β-arylamines and tertiary alcohols.

The WingPhos ligand is a bidentate phosphorus ligand developed in 2013 by Dr. Wenjun Tang and co-workers at Boehringer Ingelheim.1 It is structurally related to its monodentate cousin, the AntPhos ligand, which was introduced 2 years prior.Similar to the AntPhos ligand, WingPhos contains conformationally rigid phosphorus atoms, which allow for the molecule to be chiral at phosphorus, opening up the potential for its use as a ligand in asymmetric catalysis.

 Figure 1

The WingPhos ligand’s ability to induce a high degree of enantioselectivity was first demonstrated in the Rh-catalyzed asymmetric hydrogenation of enamines to form chiral β-arylamines.1 In addition to providing the product in up to 99% enantiomeric excess, the Rh-WingPhos system achieved a high degree of efficiency, providing turnover numbers of up to 10,000. This remarkable reactivity is attributed to the deep chiral pocket afforded by the bulky pendant anthracene groups in conjunction with the two chiral phosphorus atoms.

Figure 2

The WingPhos ligand has been applied most recently in the synthesis of chiral tertiary alcohols via Rh-catalyzed addition of arylboroxines to aryl ketones, providing yields and enantiomeric excesses of up to 99%.3 This method was then applied to the synthesis of the antidepressant Escitalopram, forming the key stereocenter of the target molecule as a tertiary alcohol, which was later transformed into the cyclic ether of the final compound. 


Strem’s product catalog offers two enantiomers of the WingPhos ligand. These ligands are also available in a kit with the AntPhos ligand set.




  1. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 4235.
  2. Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 1366.
  3. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 4527.


Products mentioned in this blog and related products:

15-1970: (2R,2'R,3R,3'R)-4,4'-Di(anthracen-9-yl)-3,3'-di-t-butyl-2,2',3,3'-tetrahydro-2,2'-bibenzo[d][1,3]oxaphosphole, min 98% (>90% ee), [(2R,2'R,3R,3'R)-WingPhos]

(2S,2'S,3S,3'S)-4,4'-Di(anthracen-9-yl)-3,3'-di-t-butyl-2,2',3,3'-tetrahydro-2,2'-bibenzo[d][1,3]oxaphosphole, min 98%, (>99% ee), [(2S,2'S,3S,3'S)-WingPhos]

Antphos and WingPhos Kit Brochure



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