American Chemical Society
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Concentration and Temperature Dependency of Regio- and Stereoselectivity in a Photochemical [2 + 2] Cycloaddition Reaction (the Paternò−Büchi Reaction): Origin of the Hydroxy-Group Directivity

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-03-02, 00:00 authored by Youhei Yabuno, Yoshikazu Hiraga, Ryukichi Takagi, Manabu Abe
A set of photochemical oxetane formation reactions, i.e., the Paternò−Büchi (PB) reactions, of tetrahydrobenzofuranol derivatives 1ad with benzophenone (BP) was investigated to examine poorly understood hydroxy-group directivity on regio- and stereoselectivity. The selectivities of the PB reactions for allylic alcohols 1a,d were found to be largely dependent upon the concentration of the allylic alcohols and the reaction temperature. The temperature-dependent change of the regioselectivity at high concentrations of allylic alcohols was similar to that of the hydroxy-protected methyl ether 1b and tetrahydrobenzofuran (1c). The effect of concentration on regioselectivity can be explained by the hydrogen-bonded aggregates, which mimic the selectivities observed during the PB reaction of 1b,c. The hydroxy-directed cis-selectivity of the higher-substituted oxetane 3a,d formed at low concentration of 1a,d was found to be larger than that at the higher concentration of 1a,d. The cis-selectivity of 3a,d was found to be higher than that of the lower-substituted oxetane 2a,d. The regioselectivity of the cis-configured oxetanes was higher than that of the trans-configured oxetanes. These experimental results strongly suggest that hydroxy-group directivity, induced by hydrogen-bonding stabilization, plays a role in controlling the regio- and stereoselectivity of the PB reactions. The steric effect was also responsible for the diastereoselectivity, as shown by the fact that the cis selectivity in 3d was higher than that in 3a. Computational studies at the (U)MP2 and (U)DFT level of theory revealed that hydrogen-bonding stabilization becomes important only in the excited complex (exciplex) between the triplet excited state of carbonyls and alkenes, in which the charge transfer occurs from the alkene to the excited carbonyl to make the carbonyl oxygen nucleophilic. No significant stabilization energy was found in the intermediary triplet state of biradicals. The combined experimental and computational studies have clarified the origin of the poorly understood hydroxy-group effect on a high degree of regio- and stereoselectivity, i.e., the cooperative effect of hydrogen-bonding stabilization in exciplexes and the steric bulk of the substituents.