Rh-catalyzed intermolecular reactions of cyclic α-diazocarbonyl compounds with selectivity over tertiary C-H bond migration.
ABSTRACT Intermolecular Rh-catalyzed reactions of cyclic α-diazocarbonyl compounds with chemoselectivity over β-hydride elimination are described. These methods represent the first general intermolecular reactions of Rh-carbenoids that are selective over tertiary β-C-H bond migration. Successful transformations include cyclopropanation, cyclopropenation, and various X-H insertion reactions with a broad scope of substrates. We propose that the intermolecular approach of substrates to carbenes from acyclic diazo precursors may be relatively slow due to a steric interaction with the ester function, which is perpendicular to the π-system of the carbene. For carbenes derived from five- and six-membered cyclic α-diazocarbonyls, it is proposed that the carbene is constrained to be more conjugated with the carbonyl, thereby relieving the steric interaction for intermolecular reactions, and accelerating the rate of intermolecular reactivity relative to intramolecular β-hydride migration. However, attempts to use α-diazo-β-ethylcaprolactone in intermolecular cyclopropanation with styrene were unsuccessful. It is proposed that the conformational flexibility of the seven-membered ring allows the carbonyl to be oriented perpendicular to Rh-carbene. The significant intermolecular interaction between the carbonyl and approaching substrate is in agreement with the poor ability of α-diazo-β-ethylcaprolactone to participate in intermolecular cyclopropanation reactions. DFT calculations provide support for the mechanistic proposals that are described.