American Chemical Society
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Unprecedented Selective ipso-Nitration of Calixarenes Monitored by the O-Substituents

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journal contribution
posted on 2003-08-07, 00:00 authored by Sophie Redon, Yun Li, Olivia Reinaud
The electrophilic ipso-reactions of a tBu-calix[6]arene that presents alternate O-methyl and O-2-methylen-N-methyl-imidazolyl groups (1) at the small rim have been studied. Whereas 1 underwent per-sulfonation in sulfuric acid, it selectively reacted with nitric acid to yield a tris-nitro derivative. The ipso-nitration occurred regioselectively on the calixarene anisol units. The reaction has been studied with various tBu-calixarenes (211) presenting alternate anisol and phenol ether units. The regioselectivity of the process appeared to be correlated to the presence of a protonable site on the O-substituent. It is proposed that the corresponding protonated heteroatom (N for the amines, O for the amides and the carboxylic acid), situated in the γ or ε position of the phenoxy moieties, deactivates the corresponding aromatic ring by removing electron density through intramolecular hydrogen bonding. The high control operated by the O-substituents at the small rim even allowed the selective ipso-nitration of partially detertiobutylated calixarene 1H3. Hence, these findings open new routes to a wide range of nonsymmetrically substituted calixarenes at the large rim.