American Chemical Society
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Enantiodivergent Fluorination of Allylic Alcohols: Data Set Design Reveals Structural Interplay between Achiral Directing Group and Chiral Anion

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posted on 2016-03-11, 20:33 authored by Andrew J. Neel, Anat Milo, Matthew S. Sigman, F. Dean Toste
Enantioselectivity values represent relative rate measurements that are sensitive to the structural features of the substrates and catalysts interacting to produce them. Therefore, well-designed enantioselectivity data sets are information rich and can provide key insights regarding specific molecular interactions. However, if the mechanism for enantioselection varies throughout a data set, these values cannot be easily compared. This premise, which is the crux of free energy relationships, exposes a challenging issue of identifying mechanistic breaks within multivariate correlations. Herein, we describe an approach to addressing this problem in the context of a chiral phosphoric acid catalyzed fluorination of allylic alcohols using aryl boronic acids as transient directing groups. By designing a data set in which both the phosphoric and boronic acid structures were systematically varied, key enantioselectivity outliers were identified and analyzed. A mechanistic study was executed to reveal the structural origins of these outliers, which was consistent with the presence of several mechanistic regimes within the data set. While 2- and 4-substituted aryl boronic acids favored the (R)-enantiomer with most of the studied catalysts, meta-alkoxy substituted aryl boronic acids resulted in the (S)-enantiomer when used in combination with certain (R)-phosphoric acids. We propose that this selectivity reversal is the result of a lone pair-π interaction between the substrate ligated boronic acid and the phosphate. On the basis of this proposal, a catalyst system was identified, capable of producing either enantiomer in high enantioselectivity (77% (R)-2 to 92% (S)-2) using the same chiral catalyst by subtly changing the structure of the achiral boronic acid.