Synthesis of Highly Substituted 2-Arylindoles via Copper-Catalyzed Coupling of Isocyanides and Arylboronic Acids

Highly functionalized 2-arylindoles were synthesized from 2-alkenylarylisocyanides and arylboronic acids using a simple, inexpensive copper catalyst. The reaction exhibits excellent functional group tolerance for both the arylisocyanide and boronic acid coupling partners. To avoid the direct handling of the pungent arylisocyanide starting materials, continuous flow chemistry is further demonstrated to provide safe and effective access to 2-arylindoles through in situ dehydration and cyclization of easy-to-handle 2-alkenyl-N-formylanilines.

Bench-Stable N-Heterocyclic Carbene Nickel Precatalysts for C-C and C-N Bond-Forming Reactions

Herein, we introduce a new class of bench-stable N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) nickel-precatalysts for homogeneous nickel-catalysis. The nickel(II) complexes are readily activated to Ni0 in situ under mild conditions, via a proposed Heck-type mechanism. The precatalysts are shown to facilitate carbonyl-ene, hydroalkenylation, and amination reactions.

Ni-Catalyzed Electrochemical Decarboxylative C-C couplings in Batch and Continuous Flow

An electrochemically driven, nickel-catalyzed reductive coupling of N-hydroxyphthalimide esters with aryl halides is reported. The reaction proceeds under mild conditions in a divided electrochemical cell and employs a tertiary amine as the reductant. This decarboxylative C(sp3)−C(sp2) bond-forming transformation exhibits excellent substrate generality and functional group compatibility. An operationally simple continuous-flow version of this transformation using a commercial electrochemical flow reactor represents a robust and scalable synthesis of value added coupling process.

Direct beta-Selective Hydrocarboxylation of Styrenes with CO2 Enabled by Continuous Flow Photoredox Catalysis

The direct β-selective hydrocarboxylation of styrenes under atmospheric pressure of CO2 has been developed using photoredox catalysis in continuous flow. The scope of this methodology was demonstrated with a range of functionalized terminal styrenes, as well as αsubstituted and β-substituted styrenes.

Highly Regioselective Indoline Synthesis Under Nickel/Photoredox Dual Catalysis

Nickel/photoredox catalysis is used to synthesize indolines in one step from iodoacetanilides and alkenes. Very high regioselectivity for 3-substituted indoline products is obtained for both aliphatic and styrenyl olefins. Mechanistic investigations indicate that oxidation to Ni(III) is necessary to perform the difficult C−N bond-forming reductive elimination, producing a Ni(I) complex, which in turn is reduced to Ni(0). This process serves to further demonstrate the utility of photoredox catalysts as controlled single electron transfer agents in multioxidation state nickel catalysis

A General Strategy for the Synthesis of Enantiomerically Pure Azetidines and Aziridines through Nickel-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling

In this communication, we report a straightforward synthesis of enantiomerically pure 2-alkyl azetidines The protocol is based on a highly regioselective nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of aliphatic organozinc reagents with an aziridine that features a tethered thiophenyl group. Activation by methylation transforms the sulfide into an excellent leaving group and triggers the formation of the 2-substituted azetidine core structure by cyclization. In addition, we have expanded this concept to the synthesis of enantiomerically pure, terminal alkyl aziridines. Coupling of a TMS-protected aziridine alcohol, followed by acidic work-up to remove the silyl group, provides 1,2-amino alcohol products that are readily cyclized to aziridines. Both of these sequences display excellent functional group tolerance and deliver the desired azetidine and aziridine products in good to excellent yields

Selective Lewis Acid Catalyzed Assembly of Phosphonomethyl Ethers: Three-Step Synthesis of Tenofovir

Described herein is a novel Lewis acid catalyzed rearrangement−coupling of oxygen heterocycles and bis (diethylamino)chlorophosphine that provides direct formation of the phosphonomethyl ether functionality found in several important antiretroviral agents. A wide range of dioxolanes and 1,3-dioxanes may be employed, furnishing the desired products in good yield. The utility of this method is demonstrated in a novel synthesis of tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B.

Highly Regioselective Nickel-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling of N-Tosylaziridines and Alkylzinc Reagents

Herein, we report the first ligand-controlled, nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of aliphatic N-tosylaziridines with aliphatic organozinc reagents. The reaction protocol displays complete regioselectivity for reaction at the less hindered C−N bond, and the products are furnished in good to excellent yield for a broad selection of substrates. Moreover, we have developed an air-stable nickel(II) chloride/ligand precatalyst that can be handled and stored outside a glovebox. In addition to increasing the activity of this catalyst system, this also greatly improves the practicality of this reaction, as the use of the very air-sensitive Ni(cod)2 is avoided. Finally, mechanistic investigations, including deuterium-labeling studies, show that the reaction proceeds with overall inversion of configuration at the terminal position of the aziridine by way of aziridine ring opening by Ni (inversion), transmetalation (retention), and reductive elimination (retention)

Recent Advances in Homogeneous Nickel Catalysis

Tremendous advances have been made in nickel catalysis over the past decade. Several key properties of nickel, such as facile oxidative addition and ready access to multiple oxidation states, have allowed the development of a broad range of innovative reactions. In recent years, these properties have been increasingly understood and used to perform transformations long considered exceptionally challenging. Here we discuss some of the most recent and significant developments in homogeneous nickel catalysis, with an emphasis on both synthetic outcome and mechanism.

Nickel-Catalyzed Mizoroki–Heck Reaction of Aryl Sulfonates and Chlorides with Electronically Unbiased Terminal Olefins: High Selectivity for Branched Products

Achieving high selectivity in the Heck reaction of electronically unbiased alkenes has been a longstanding challenge. Using a nickel-catalyzed cationic Heck reaction, we were able to achieve excellent selectivity for branched products (19:1 in all cases) over a wide range of aryl electrophiles and aliphatic olefins. A bidentate ligand with a suitable bite angle and steric profile was key to obtaining high branched/linear selectivity, whereas the appropriate base suppressed alkene isomerization of the product. Although aryl triflates are traditionally used to access the cationic Heck pathway, we have shown that, by using triethylsilyl trifluoromethanesulfonate, we can effect a counterion exchange of the catalytic nickel complex, such that cheaper and more stable aryl chlorides, mesylates, tosylates, and sulfamates can be used to yield the same branched products with high selectivity