Radical chain monoalkylation of pyridines†
The monoalkylation of N-methoxypyridinium salts with alkyl radicals generated from alkenes (via hydroboration with catecholborane), alkyl iodides (via iodine atom transfer) and xanthates is reported. The reaction proceeds under neutral conditions since no acid is needed to activate the heterocycle and no external oxidant is required. A rate constant for the addition of a primary radical to N-methoxylepidinium >107 M−1 s−1 was experimentally determined. This rate constant is more than one order of magnitude larger than the one measured for the addition of primary alkyl radicals to protonated lepidine demonstrating the remarkable reactivity of methoxypyridinium salts towards radicals. The reaction has been used for the preparation of unique pyridinylated terpenoids and was extended to a three-component carbopyridinylation of electron-rich alkenes including enol esters, enol ethers and enamides.