Arene C‐H activation at aluminium(I) : meta selectivity driven by the electronics of SNAr chemistry
Hicks, Jamie; Vasko, Petra; Heilmann, Andreas; Goicoechea, Jose; Aldridge, Simon (2020). Arene C‐H activation at aluminium(I) : meta selectivity driven by the electronics of SNAr chemistry. Angewandte Chemie, Early online. DOI: 10.1002/anie.202008557
Published inAngewandte Chemie
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© 2020 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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.