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Org Lett. 2012 Sep 21;14(18):4722-5. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Remarkable improvement achieved by imidazole derivatives in ruthenium-catalyzed hydroesterification of alkenes using formates.

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  • 1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan.


Imidazole derivatives are revealed to be effective ligands in the Ru-catalyzed hydroesterification of alkenes using formates, affording one-carbon-elongated esters in high yields. Further, intramolecular hydroesterification was successfully performed to give lactones for the first time. Imidazole derivatives can contribute to promote the reaction as well as to suppress the undesired decarbonylation of formate. Toxic CO gas, a directing group, and large excess alkenes are not required.

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