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Diels Alder if dienophile does not have electron-withdrawing group?

Jul 8, 2016
  1. Pre-Medical
    Does the dienophile have to have an electron-withdrawing group for the diels-alder reaction to occur? I know the electron-withdrawing group causes the partial positive charge, but if the dienophile was just ethene, could the diels-alder reaction still occur with just heat?


    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Nov 1, 2015
    1. Medical Student
      What's not usually taught is that the "classic" Diels-Alder reaction of ethylene and 1,3-butadiene doesn't actually work - you need a substituted olefin. But that substituent doesn't have to be electron-withdrawing - you also have so-called inverse electron demand Diels-Alder reactions where the substituent is actually electron-donating.
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