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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Jan 19;127(2):751-60.

Ionic liquid-promoted, highly regioselective Heck arylation of electron-rich olefins by aryl halides.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Liverpool Centre for Materials and Catalysis, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZD, UK.


Palladium-catalyzed regioselective Heck arylation of the electron-rich olefins, vinyl ethers 1a-d, enamides 1e-g, and allyltrimethylsilane 1h, has been accomplished in imidazolium ionic liquids with a wide range of aryl bromides and iodides instead of the commonly used, but commercially unavailable and expensive, aryl triflates. The reaction proceeded with high efficiency and remarkable regioselectivity without the need for costly or toxic halide scavengers, leading exclusively to substitution by aryl groups of diverse electronic and steric properties at the olefinic carbon alpha to the heteroatom of 1a-g and beta to the heteroatom of 1h. In contrast, the arylation reaction in molecular solvents led to mixtures of regioisomers under similar conditions. Several lines of evidence point to the unique regiocontrol stemming from the ionic environment provided by the ionic liquid that alters the reaction pathway. The chemistry provides a simple, effective method for preparing branched, arylated olefins and contributes to the extension of Heck reaction to a wider range of substrates.

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