Organocatalysis, where organic molecules like α-amino acids, α-hydroxy acids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates are employed to catalyze organic transformations such as the aldol, Mannich and Michael reactions is a rapidly expanding field of organic synthesis. Operational simplicity, ready availability of the catalysts, selectivity, efficiency and low cost make them an attractive alternative to metal-mediated organic transformations. Although organocatalysts have many attractive features, this catalytic system also suffers from often high catalyst loading or poor solubility of the catalyst in organic solvents. Recently, ionic liquids, PEG, montmorillonite clays have been demonstrated to be good supports helping to overcome the limitations mentioned. These supported systems offer accepatble trade-offs in terms of yields and selectivity with the added advantages of recyclability of the catalyst. This review compares various supported and unsupported aminocatalysts mainly focusing on C-C bond forming reactions.
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