Catalytic, Enantioselective Cyclopropanation of Allylic Alcohols. Substrate Generality

Scott E. Denmark, Stephen P. O'Connor

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Catalytic, enantioselective cyclopropanation of a broad range of allylic alcohols and one homoallylic alcohol was carried out. The cyclopropanation reagent employed was bis(iodomethyl)zinc generated by the method of Furukawa, and the chiral promoter used (10 mol %) was the N,N-bis-(methanesulfonyl) derivative of (R,R)-1,2-diaminocyclohexane. Three experimental features were found to be critical for the rapid and selective cyclopropanation: (1) use of the ethylzinc alkoxide of the allylic alcohol as the substrate by prior deprotonation of the allylic alcohols by diethylzinc, (2) the formation of the zinc complex of the promoter by prior deprotonation of the bis-sulfonamide with diethylzinc, and (3) the use of added zinc iodide generated in situ from diethylzinc and iodine. The stereoselectivity of cyclopropanation was found to be independent of olefin geometry and worked well for substrates bearing both aliphatic and aromatic substituants at either or both 3-positions of the allylic alcohol. However, a methyl substituent on the 2-position of the allyl alcohol was not well tolerated and led to slow reactions and poor enantioselectivities. A rationale for the observed selectivities is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-594
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


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