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Structural Basis for Regioisomerization in the Alkali-Metal-Mediated Zincation (AMMZn) of Trifluoromethyl Benzene by Isolation of Kinetic and Thermodynamic Intermediates

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Bill CleggORCiD, Dr Sophie Dale, Dr Luca Russo


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Performed with a desire to advance knowledge of the structures and mechanisms governing alkali-metal-mediated zincation, this study monitors the reaction between the TMP-dialkylzincate reagent RTMEDA)Na(TMP)(Bu-t)Zn(Bu-t)] 1 and trifluoromethyl benzene C6H5CF3 2. A complicated mixture of products is observed at room temperature. X-ray crystallography has identified two of these products as ortho- and meta-regioisomers of heterotrianionic RTMEDA)Na(TMP)(C6H4-CF3)Zn(Bu-t)], 3-ortho and 3-meta, respectively. Multinuclear NMR data of the bulk crystalline product confirm the presence of these two regioisomers as well as a third isomer, 3-para, in a respective ratio of 20:11:1, and an additional product 4, which also exhibits ortho-zincation of the aryl substrate. Repeating the reaction at 0 C gave exclusively 4, which was crystallographically characterized as [{(TMEDA)(2)Na}(+)(Zn(C6H4-CF3)(Bu-t)(2)}(-)}. Mimicking the original room-temperature reaction, this kinetic product was subsequently reacted with TMP(H) to afford a complicated mixture of products, including significantly the three regioisomers of 3. Surprisingly, 4 adopts a solvent-separated ion pair arrangement in contrast to the contacted ion variants of 3-ortho and 3-meta. Aided by DFT calculations on model systems, discussion focuses on the different basicities, amido or alkyl, and steps, exhibited in these reactions, and how the structures and bonding within these isolated key metallic intermediates (prior to any electrophilic interception step), specifically the interactions involving the alkali metal, influence the regioselectivity of the Zn-H exchange process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Armstrong DR, Blair VL, Clegg W, Dale SH, Garcia-Alvarez J, Honeyman GW, Hevia E, Mulvey RE, Russo L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society

Year: 2010

Volume: 132

Issue: 27

Pages: 9480-9487

Print publication date: 22/06/2010

ISSN (print): 0002-7863

ISSN (electronic): 1520-5126

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/ja1038598


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