Ligand-Switchable Directing Effects of Tethered Alkenes in Nickel-Catalyzed Additions to Alkynes

Journal of the American Chemical Society 126(47), 15342-15343, DOI: 10.1021/ja0446799

Nickel-catalyzed reductive couplings of aldehydes with alkynes that contain tethered olefins are described, in which the degree and sense of regioselectivity are controlled by the length of the tether and the presence or absence of an additive. When the alkyne and alkene are separated by four bonds, very high (>95:5) regioselectivities are observed. Use of a monodentate phosphine as an additive leads to formation of the opposite regioisomer in equal and opposite selectivity (5: >95). These results provide strong evidence for an interaction between the remote alkene and the metal center during the regioselectivity-determining step and suggest that reactions with and without an additive proceed via fundamentally distinct mechanisms.