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Chemo- and Regioselective Synthesis of Acyl-Cyclohexenes by a Tandem Acceptorless Dehydrogenation-[1,5]-Hydride Shift Cascade

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journal contribution
posted on 22.01.2020, 20:44 by Lewis B. Smith, Roly J. Armstrong, Daniel Matheau-Raven, Timothy J. Donohoe
An atom-economical methodology to access substituted acyl-cyclohexenes from pentamethylacetophenone and 1,5-diols is described. This process is catalyzed by an iridium­(I) catalyst in conjunction with a bulky electron rich phosphine ligand (CataCXium A) which favors acceptorless dehydrogenation over conjugate reduction to the corresponding cyclohexane. The reaction produces water and hydrogen gas as the sole byproducts and a wide range of functionalized acyl-cyclohexene products can be synthesized using this method in very high yields. A series of control experiments were carried out, which revealed that the process is initiated by acceptorless dehydrogenation of the diol followed by a redox-neutral cascade process, which is independent of the iridium catalyst. Deuterium labeling studies established that the key step of this cascade involves a novel base-mediated [1,5]-hydride shift. The cyclohexenyl ketone products could readily be cleaved under mildly acidic conditions to access a range of valuable substituted cyclohexene derivatives.