ReportAsymmetric Catalysis

Ligand-accelerated enantioselective methylene C(sp3)–H bond activation

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Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 1023-1027
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf4434

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Effective differentiation of prochiral carbon–hydrogen (C–H) bonds on a single methylene carbon via asymmetric metal insertion remains a challenge. Here, we report the discovery of chiral acetyl-protected aminoethyl quinoline ligands that enable asymmetric palladium insertion into prochiral C–H bonds on a single methylene carbon center. We apply these palladium complexes to catalytic enantioselective functionalization of β-methylene C–H bonds in aliphatic amides. Using bidentate ligands to accelerate C–H activation of otherwise unreactive monodentate substrates is crucial for outcompeting the background reaction driven by substrate-directed cyclopalladation, thereby avoiding erosion of enantioselectivity. The potential of ligand acceleration in C–H activation is also demonstrated by enantioselective β-C–H arylation of simple carboxylic acids without installing directing groups.

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