Investigation of catalyst effects in enantioselective copper- and rhodium-mediated transformations of α-diazocarbonyl compounds

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Slattery, Catherine N.
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University College Cork
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This thesis describes the synthesis and reactivity of a series of α-diazocarbonyl compounds with particular emphasis on the use of copper-bis(oxazoline)-mediated enantioselective C–H insertion reactions leading to enantioenriched cyclopentanone derivatives. Through the use of additives, the enantioselectivity achieved with the copper catalysts for the first time reaches synthetically useful levels (up to 91% ee). Chapter one provides a comprehensive overview of enantioselective C–H insertions with α-diazocarbonyl compounds from the literature. The majority of reports in this section involve rhodium-catalysed systems with limited reports to date of asymmetric C–H insertion reactions in the presence of copper catalysts. Chapter two focuses on the synthesis and C–H insertion reactions of α-diazo-β-keto sulfones leading to α-sulfonyl cyclopentanones as the major product. Detailed investigation of the impact of substrate structure (both the sulfonyl substitutent and the substituent at the site of insertion), the copper source, ligand, counterion, additive and solvent was undertaken to provide an insight into the mechanistic basis for enantiocontrol in the synthetically powerful C–H insertion process and to enable optimisation of enantiocontrol and ligand design. Perhaps the most significant outcome of this work is the enhanced enantioselection achieved through use of additives, substantially improving the synthetic utility of the asymmetric C–H insertion process. In addition to the C–H insertion reaction, mechanistically interesting competing reaction pathways involving hydride transfer are observed. Chapter three reports the extension of the catalyst-additive systems, developed for C–H insertions with α-diazo-β-keto sulfones in chapter two, to C–H insertion in analogous α-diazo-β-keto phosphonate and α-diazo-β-keto ester systems. While similar patterns were seen in terms of ligand effects, the enantiopurities achieved for these reactions were lower than those in the cyclisations with analogous α-diazo-β-keto sulfones. Extension of this methodology to cyclopropanation and oxium ylide formation/[2,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement was also explored. Chapter four contains the full experimental details and spectral characterisation of all novel compounds synthesised in this project, while details of chiral stationary phase HPLC analysis and X-ray crystallography are included in the appendix.
C-H insertion , Diazo , Asymmetric catalysis , Copper catalysis
Slattery, C. N. 2012. Investigation of catalyst effects in enantioselective copper- and rhodium-mediated transformations of α-diazocarbonyl compounds. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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