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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jan 9;130(1):343-50. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Toward a synthetically useful stereoselective C-H amination of hydrocarbons.

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Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, UPR 2301, CNRS, Avenue de la Terrasse, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


Reaction between a sulfur(VI) compound and an iodine(III) oxidant in the presence of a catalytic quantity (<=3 mol %) of a rhodium(II) catalyst leads to the formation of a chiral metallanitrene of unprecedented reactivity. The latter allows intermolecular C-H amination to proceed in very high yields up to 92% and excellent diastereoselectivities up to 99% with C-H bond containing starting materials as the limiting component. The scope of this C-H functionalization includes benzylic and allylic substrates as well as alkanes. Secondary positions react preferentially, but insertion into activated primary C-H bonds or sterically accessible tertiary sites is also possible. Cooperative effects between the nitrene precursor and the chiral catalyst at the origin of these good results have also been applied to kinetic resolution of racemic sulfonimidamide. This methodology paves the way to the use of Csp3-H bonds as synthetic precursors for the introduction of a nitrogen functionality into selected positions.

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