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Org Lett. 2016 Nov 18;18(22):5872-5875. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Nickel-Catalyzed Diaryl Ketone Synthesis by N-C Cleavage: Direct Negishi Cross-Coupling of Primary Amides by Site-Selective N,N-Di-Boc Activation.

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Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University , 73 Warren Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102, United States.


A general Negishi acylation of primary amides enabled by a combination of site-selective N,N-di-Boc activation and nickel catalysis is reported for the first time. The reaction is promoted by a bench-stable, inexpensive Ni catalyst. The reaction shows excellent functional group compatibility, affording functionalized diaryl ketones by selective N-C cleavage. Most notably, this protocol represents the first amide cross-coupling by direct metal insertion of simple and readily available primary amides. The overall strategy by N,N-di-Boc activation/metal insertion is suitable for a broad range of coupling protocols via acylmetals. Mechanistic experiments suggest high reactivity of N,N-di-Boc activated 1° amides in direct amide C-N cross-couplings.

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