Allenyl azide cycloaddition chemistry. 2,3-cyclopentennelated indole synthesis through indolidene intermediates.
ABSTRACT The thermal, photochemical, and photochemical/CuI-mediated cascade cyclizations of a range of substituted 1-(2-azidophenyl)-3-alkenylallenes are described. These reactions provide both 1,2- and 2,3-cyclopentennelated indole products in varying ratios. In most cases, high regioselectivity for the 2,3-annelated isomer can be achieved under the hnu/CuI conditions. Computational studies of this multistep reaction support the intermediacy of indolidene intermediates whose electrocyclizations (with or without copper present) define the regioselectivity branch point in the sequence.