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J Org Chem. 2013 Aug 2;78(15):7436-44. doi: 10.1021/jo400803s. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Mild Negishi cross-coupling reactions catalyzed by acenaphthoimidazolylidene palladium complexes at low catalyst loadings.

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Department of Chemistry, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai, 200433, P. R. China.


Considering that the strong σ-donor property of ylidenes derived from π-extended imidazolium salts is conducive to increasing the catalytic activity of the resulting palladium N-heterocyclic carbene complexes, robust acenaphthoimidazol-ylidene palladium complexes 3a-c with varying bulky substituted groups were prepared from the corresponding acenaphthoimidazolium chlorides by heating with PdCl2 and K2CO3 in neat 3-chloropyridine in satisfactory yields. Even at a catalyst loading as low as 0.25 mol %, complex 3a exhibited extremely high catalytic activity toward Negishi cross-coupling of alkylzinc reagents with a wide range of (hetero)aryl halides under mild reaction conditions within 30 min. Besides a great number of bromoarenes, various less expensive and inactive (hetero)aryl chlorides were coupled successfully with the alkyl- and arylzinc reagents, in which active functional groups (such as -NH2) were well tolerated even in one-pot dicoupling transformations without protection. In addition, in the case of coupling with secondary alkylzinc reagents, undesired β-hydride elimination leading to isomerized linear products was efficaciously suppressed. The catalyst system also displayed superiority in the construction of heterobiaryls through the coupling of heteroarylzinc reagents and heterocylic chloroarenes which were hardly accessible from the corresponding organoboron reagents by Suzuki-coupling reactions. Therefore, the protocol described in this paper represents a mild, general, and scalable approach to access various structurally intriguing and functionalized (hetero)aryls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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