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Enantiodivergent Pd-catalyzed C–C bond formation enabled through ligand parameterization

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Science  20 Sep 2018:
eaat2299
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2299

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Abstract

Despite the enormous potential for the use of stereospecific cross-coupling reactions to rationally manipulate the three-dimensional structure of organic molecules, the factors that control the transfer of stereochemistry in these reactions remain poorly understood. Herein we report a mechanistic and synthetic investigation into the use of enantioenriched alkylboron nucleophiles in stereospecific Pd-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling reactions. By developing a suite of molecular descriptors of phosphine ligands, we could apply predictive statistical models to select or design distinct ligands that respectively promoted stereoinvertive and stereoretentive cross-coupling reactions. Stereodefined branched structures were thereby accessed through the predictable manipulation of absolute stereochemistry, and a general model for the mechanism of alkylboron transmetallation was proposed.

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