Evaluating the thermal vinylcyclopropane rearrangement (VCPR) as a practical method for the synthesis of difluorinated cyclopentenes: experimental and computational studies of rearrangement stereospecificity

David Orr, Jonathan Percy, Tell Tuttle, Alan Kennedy, Zoe Alicia Harrison

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Vinyl cyclopropane rearrangement (VCPR) has been utilised to synthesise a difluorinated cyclopentene stereospecifically and under mild thermal conditions. Difluorocyclopropanation chemistry afforded ethyl 3-(1'(2'2'-difluoro-3'-phenyl)cyclopropyl) propenoate as all four stereoisomers (18a, 18b, 22a, 22b) (all racemic). Trans-E isomer (18a), prepared in 70% yield over three steps, underwent near quantitative VCPR to difluorocyclopentene 23 (99%). Rearrangements were followed by 19F NMR (100-180 °C). While cis/trans cyclopropane stereoisomerisation was facile, favouring trans-isomers by a modest margin, no E/Z alkene isomerisation was observed even at higher temperatures. Neither cis nor trans Z-alkenoates underwent VCPR, even up to much higher temperatures (180 oC). Cis-cyclopropanes underwent [3,3]-rearrangement to afford benzocycloheptadiene species. The reaction stereospecificity was explored using electronic structure calculations and UB3LYP/6-31G* methodology allowed the energy barriers for cyclopropane stereoisomerisation, diastereoisomeric VCPR and [3,3]-rearrangement to be ranked in agreement with experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14305–14316
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume20
Issue number44
Early online date11 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • rearrangement
  • difluorocyclopentene
  • activation parameters
  • density functional calculations
  • stereoselectivity

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