Enantiospecific on-water bromination: a mild and efficient protocol for the preparation of alkyl bromides†
Herein we report the first example of an on-water enantiospecific synthesis of alkyl bromides. This procedure allowed the conversion of secondary activated alkyl sulphides to benzylic alkyl bromides, which were obtained in 80–99% yields. The reaction carried out on enantio-pure sulphides provided the corresponding bromides in high yields and enantioselectivity (up to 92% ee; 94% es) at room temperature. The on-water conditions reduced significantly the reaction times compared to similar procedures run in organic media. The condition identified made use of no solvent, required no temperature control and produced a smooth organic phase easily separated for further synthetic use on a multigram-scale without the need for any organic extraction. Therefore, the present constitutes the most operationally simple and environmentally benign approach to a class of much sought organic intermediates.