International Edition: DOI: 10.1002/anie.201707323 German Edition: DOI: 10.1002/ange.201707323

Synthetic Methods

Copper-Catalyzed Borylacylation of Activated Alkenes with Acid Chlorides Yuan Huang, Kevin B. Smith, and M. Kevin Brown* Abstract: A method for the copper-catalyzed borylacylation of activated alkenes is presented. The reaction involves borylcupration of the alkene, followed by capture of the generated alkyl–copper intermediate with an acid chloride. The reactions operated with low catalyst loading and generally occurre within 15 min at room temperature for a range of activated alkenes. In the case of vinyl arenes, enantioselective borylacylation was possible.

Cross-coupling reactions of acyl electrophiles and organo-

metallic reagents represent a useful and well-established strategy for the synthesis of ketones (Scheme 1 A).[1] Such transformations have been shown to occur with a variety of acyl electrophiles (e.g., acid chlorides,[2] thioesters,[3] and activated amides[4]) as well as organometallic reagents (e.g., Grignard,[5] zinc,[6] tin,[7] and boron[8]). More recent advances in this area have demonstrated that the coupling of acyl electrophiles and organohalides is possible in the presence of a reducing agent.[9] In recent years, copper-catalyzed carboboration reactions of alkenes have emerged as a useful strategy for chemical synthesis because the [email protected] bond can be converted into other groups with ease, thus allowing for carbofunctionalization.[10] Over the last several years, our research group[11] and others[12, 13] have developed methods for the arylboration of alkenes by Cu/Pd cooperative catalysis (Scheme 1 B). In these reactions, an alkyl–copper intermediate is generated by catalytic borylcupration of an alkene, followed by palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling. This strategy has been shown to be effective for the functionalization of alkenyl arenes, 1,3dienes, vinyl silanes, and strained alkenes. To extend the utility of these reactions, we desired to develop a process in which acyl electrophiles could be employed (Scheme 1 C).[14] Such a process was viewed as a valuable strategy, as the products would be versatile entities for chemical synthesis and map onto molecules of biological interest (Scheme 1 D).[15] Though the direct formation of ketones through a carboboration process is unknown, the Popp group recently reported the borylcarboxylation of vinyl arenes to generate carboxylic acids.[16] While this is a significant advance, in our view, the direct synthesis of ketones from simple and widely available precursors would be valuable to streamline synthesis. Furthermore, Buchwald and co-workers

have developed a copper-catalyzed hydroacylation reaction of alkenyl arenes with anhydrides[17] and more recently carboxylic acids.[18] Herein, a method is presented for the borylacylation of a variety of activated alkenes with widely available acid chlorides (Scheme 1 C).[19] Initial studies focused on the use of thioester-derived electrophiles in a Fukuyama-type cross-coupling.[3] Under all conditions attempted, however, the desired borylacylation product was formed in less than 2 % yield (Scheme 2 A). We then turned our attention to the use of acid chlorides (e.g., 1).[2] In this case, the desired product 3 was observed, albeit in low yield. Further analysis of the reaction through control experiments revealed that the Pd catalyst was not necessary. It appears that the generated C(sp3)–Cu complex 5[20] can undergo direct reaction with an acid chloride according to the catalytic cycle shown in Scheme 2 B.[21, 22] From this result, the reaction was initially optimized to the conditions shown in Table 1, entry 1. Key to the reaction optimization was the identification of a solvent and base that

[*] Dr. Y. Huang, K. B. Smith, Prof. M. K. Brown Department of Chemistry, Indiana University 800 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47401 (USA) E-mail: [email protected] Supporting information for this article can be found under:


Scheme 1. Relevant precedent and current studies. (BPin)2 = bispinacolatodiboron.

T 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 13314 –13318




for product formation (Table 1, entries 2–5). As shown in Table 1, entries 6–8, the reaction is largely specific to the use of SIMesCuCl. Finally, it was observed that the yield of the reaction could be improved if 2.0 equivalents of the base were used (Table 1, entry 12). Furthermore, it was identified that the reaction could be carried out with only 1 mol % SIMesCuCl and was complete after only 15 min (Table 1, entry 13). The reaction could also be carried out in air with nearly identical results to those observed for the reaction carried out under an inert atmosphere (Table 1, entry 14). Under the optimized conditions, a range of vinyl arenes and acid chlorides were investigated (Scheme 3). Electronrich (product 12), electron-poor (products 14 and 16), and sterically demanding vinyl arenes (products 13–16) were tolerated. Furthermore, functional groups such as benzyl chlorides (product 11), nitriles (product 14), aryl chlorides (product 16), ketones (product 18), and esters (product 15) did not inhibit product formation to any significant degree. At Scheme 2. Initial findings and proposed catalytic cycle. SIMes = N,N’bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)-2,5-imidazolin-2-ylidene.

minimized the background formation of PhCO2t-Bu. This criterium was met with the combination of Et2O and LiOt-Bu, in which the base has minimal solubility. Other activated carbonyl derivatives 7–10 were evaluated, but did not allow Table 1: Reaction optimization.


Change from conditions in the scheme

Yield [%][a]

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13[b] 14[c]

no change 7 instead of benzoyl chloride (1) 8 instead of benzoyl chloride (1) 9 instead of benzoyl chloride (1) 10 instead of benzoyl chloride (1) IMesCuCl instead of SIMesCuCl dpppCuCl instead of SIMesCuCl dppbzCuCl instead of SIMesCuCl NaOt-Bu instead of LiOt-Bu THF instead of Et2O toluene instead of Et2O 2.0 equiv LiOt-Bu instead of 1.5 equiv LiOt-Bu 2.0 equiv LiOt-Bu instead of 1.5 equiv LiOt-Bu 2.0 equiv LiOt-Bu instead of 1.5 equiv LiOt-Bu


Copper-Catalyzed Borylacylation of Activated Alkenes with Acid Chlorides.

A method for the copper-catalyzed borylacylation of activated alkenes is presented. The reaction involves borylcupration of the alkene, followed by ca...
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