oc8b00264_si_003.cif (3.71 MB)

Delineating Physical Organic Parameters in Site-Selective C–H Functionalization of Indoles

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posted on 13.06.2018, 16:09 by Youyoung Kim, Yoonsu Park, Sukbok Chang
Site-selective C–H functionalization is a great challenge in homogeneous transition-metal catalysis. Herein, we present a physical organic approach to delineate the origin of regioselective amidation of N-acylindoles through Ir­(III) catalysis. Bulkiness of N-directing groups of indole substrates and electronics of carboxylate additives were identified as two major factors in controlling C2 and C7 selectivity, and their microscopic mechanisms were studied with DFT-based transition state analysis. Computational insights led us to interrogate a linear free energy relationship, and parametrization of molecular determinants enabled the establishment of an intuitive yet robust statistical model that correlates an extensive number of validation data points in high accuracy. This mechanistic investigation eventually allowed the development of a new C2 amidation and alkenylation protocol of indoles, which affords the exclusive functionalization at the C2 position with up to >70:1 selectivity.