Photosensitised regioselective [2+2]-cycloaddition of cinnamates and related alkenes†
An efficient method for the synthesis of substituted cyclobutanes from cinnamates, chalcones, and styrenes has been developed utilizing a visible-light triplet sensitisation mode. This reaction provides a diverse range of substituted cyclobutanes in high yields under mild conditions without the need of external additives. Good regioselectivity is obtained due to strong π–π-stacking of arene moieties, whereas diastereoselectivity relies on the electronic effects or ortho-substitution of the arene substrate. The utility of this transformation is demonstrated by the formal synthesis of the lignane natural product (±)-Tanegool.