Copper-catalyzed diastereoselective aerobic intramolecular dehydrogenative coupling of hydrazones via sp3 C–H functionalization†
Transition metal-catalyzed cross dehydrogenative coupling is an important tool for functionalization of the α Csp3–H bond of amines. Among this reaction category, copper-catalyzed selective C–C bond formation under atmospheric O2 is of considerable research interest and significant progress has been achieved in recent years. In comparison, development of the intramolecular version of this transformation is still in its infancy. Furthermore, diastereoselective cyclization with this transformation has not been achieved. Here, we describe the highly diastereoselective intramolecular dehydrogenative cyclization of N,N-disubstituted hydrazones by a copper-catalyzed sp3 C–H bond functionalization process. The reaction protocol utilizes O2 as the oxidant and shows great functional group compatibility. Computational studies suggest that a 5-center/6-electron disrotatory cyclization mechanism is probably involved in the process for controlling the diastereoselectivity. This work represents the first example of a copper-catalyzed, direct intramolecular diastereoselective coupling reaction via an iminium ion intermediate. Additionally, it provides an environmentally friendly and atom efficient approach to access substituted pyrazolines, an important structural unit in many biologically active compounds.