Diene hydroaminomethylation via ruthenium-catalyzed C–C bond forming transfer hydrogenation: beyond carbonylation†
Under the conditions of ruthenium catalyzed transfer hydrogenation using 2-propanol as terminal reductant, 1,3-dienes engage in reductive C–C coupling with formaldimines obtained in situ from 1,3,5-tris(aryl)-hexahydro-1,3,5-triazines to form homoallylic amines. Deuterium labelling studies corroborate a mechanism involving reversible diene hydroruthenation to form an allylruthenium complex that engages in turn-over limiting imine addition. Protonolysis of the resulting amidoruthenium species releases product and delivers a ruthenium alkoxide, which upon β-hydride elimination closes the catalytic cycle. These transformations, which include enantioselective variants, represent the first examples of diene hydroaminomethylation.