Ring-opening reactions of 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) derived quaternary ammonium salts with phenols and related nucleophiles†
1,4-Diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) has been evaluated as a starting material for the synthesis of 1-alkyl-4-(2-phenoxyethyl)piperazines and related derivatives. We found that 1-alkyl-1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octan-1-ium salts, resulting from the alkylation of DABCO, efficiently react with a variety of nucleophiles in polyethyleneglycol (PEG) or diglyme at high temperatures to give piperazine products resulting from the nucleophilic ring-opening reaction. The benzylation side reaction was found to be relevant with softer nucleophiles when using 1-benzyl-1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octan-1-ium salts, while other types of alkylations were not observed. One-pot methodologies allow for the synthesis of piperazines directly from primary alcohols, alkyl halides or sulfonates, using phenols, or other nucleophile sources, and DABCO.