Rh2(ii)-catalyzed enantioselective intramolecular Büchner reaction and aromatic substitution of donor–donor carbenes†
The chiral dirhodium(II) tetracarboxylate-catalyzed enantioselective intramolecular Büchner reaction of donor/donor-carbenes was reported and a series of valuable chiral polycyclic products were synthesized. Both aryloxy enynones and diazo compounds were efficient carbene precursors for this reaction. Excellent yields (up to 99%) and outstanding enantioselectivities (up to >99% ee) were achieved under standard conditions. For furyl substituted chiral cyclohepta[b]benzofurans bearing a substituent at the C4 position on cycloheptatrienes, control reactions showed that the chiral Büchner products could slowly racemize either under dark or natural light conditions. A diradical-involved mechanism rather than a zwitterionic intermediate was proposed to explain the racemization. Furthermore, furyl substituted chiral fluorene derivatives were obtained via asymmetric aromatic substitution when biaryl enynones were employed as carbene precursors.