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Fluorinated Alcohols As Promoters for the Metal-Free Direct Substitution Reaction of Allylic Alcohols with Nitrogenated, Silylated, and Carbon Nucleophiles

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journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2012 by Paz Trillo, Alejandro Baeza, Carmen Nájera
The direct allylic substitution reaction using allylic alcohols in 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) and 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE) as reaction media is described. The developed procedure is simple, works under mild conditions (rt, 50 and 70 °C), and proves to be very general, since different nitrogenated nucleophiles and carbon nucleophiles can be used achieving high yields, especially when HFIP is employed as solvent and aromatic allylic alcohols are the substrates. Thus, sulfonamides, carbamates, carboxamides, and amines can be successfully employed as nitrogen-based nucleophiles. Likewise, silylated nucleophiles such as trimethylsilylazide, allyltrimethylsilane, trimethylsilane, and trimethylsilylphenylacetylene give the corresponding allylic substitution products in high yields. Good results for the Friedel–Crafts adducts are also achieved with aromatic compounds (phenol, anisole, indole, and anilines) as nucleophiles. Particularly interesting are the results obtained with electron-rich anilines, which can behave as nitrogenated or carbon nucleophiles depending on their electronic properties and the solvent employed. In addition, 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds (acetylacetone and Meldrum’s acid) are also successfully employed as soft carbon nucleophiles. Studies for mechanism elucidation are also reported, pointing toward the existence of carbocationic intermediates and two working reaction pathways for the obtention of the allylic substitution product.