Reliable regio- and stereochemical techniques applicable to nonactivated aliphatic systems remain largely elusive due to the challenges of discriminating between multiple, relatively strong sp3 C-H bonds whose chemical behavior often differ only subtly. Nevertheless, approaches that employ directing groups and/or auxiliaries have emerged, but impose practical restrictions, especially in complex molecule synthesis. This report describes a catalyst-controlled regio- and diastereoselective synthesis of N-unprotected pyrrolidines via dirhodium catalyzed intramolecular nitrene insertion into sp3 C-H bonds. The reaction proceeds at rt without external oxidants, nitrene stabilizing groups, or directing functionality. The insights that emerged from the conformational/stereoselectivity relationships (CSR) between catalysts and substrates provide a framework for rational catalyst design that can accommodate a broader range of aliphatic C-H chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry