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The diastereodifferentiating [2+2] photocycloaddition of a chiral cyclohexenone with cyclopentene was performed in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) using a flow microreactor. In all cases examined, the microreactor gave higher conversions than the batch system because of the very short path length of the microreactor. Additionally, by using the microreactor, accurate temperature control produced higher diastereoselectivity. These distinguished findings can be attributed to the synergistic effect of superior light penetration in the microreactor and the unique solvent property (clustering effect) of scCO2.

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Journal of Flow Chemistry
Authors: Kimitada Terao, Yasuhiro Nishiyama, Hiroki Tanimoto, Tsumoru Morimoto, Michael Oelgemöller and Tsumoru Morimoto


The diastereoselective [2+2] photocycloaddition of ethylene to a chiral cyclohexenone was studied in a continuous flow microcapillary reactor. In all cases examined, the microcapillary reactor gave higher conversions and selectivity than the batch system, even after shorter irradiation times. These findings were explained by the superior temperature control, favorable light penetration, and generation of a gas–liquid slug flow with improved mass transfer in the microreactor.

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