Arene C‐H activation at aluminium(I) : meta selectivity driven by the electronics of SNAr chemistry
Hicks, J., Vasko, P., Heilmann, A., Goicoechea, J., & Aldridge, S. (2020). Arene C‐H activation at aluminium(I) : meta selectivity driven by the electronics of SNAr chemistry. Angewandte Chemie, 59(46), 20376-20380. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202008557
Published inAngewandte Chemie
2020 The Authors.
The reactivity of the electron-rich anionic Al(I) (‘aluminyl’) compound K 2 [(NON)Al] 2 (NON = 4,5-bis(2,6-diisopropylanilido)-2,7-di- tert -butyl-9,9-dimethylxanthene) towards mono- and disubstituted arenes is reported. C-H activation chemistry with n -butylbenzene gives exclusively the product of activation at the arene meta position. Mechanistically, this transformation proceeds in a single step via a concerted Meisenheimer-type transition state. Selectivity is therefore based on similar electronic factors to classical S N Ar chemistry, which implies the destabilization of transition states featuring electron-donating groups in either the ortho or the para positions. In the cases of toluene and the three isomers of xylene, benzylic C-H activation is also possible, with the product(s) formed reflecting the feasibility (or otherwise) of competing arene C-H activation at a site which is neither ortho or para to a methyl substituent.
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Postdoctoral Researcher, AoF
Additional information about fundingWe thank the Leverhulme Trust (RP-2018-246) for funding aspects of this work. PV thanks the Academy of Finland (Grant No. 314794) and Prof Heikki Tuononen for providing computational resources
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