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Mechanism and Origins of Chemo- and Stereoselectivities of Aryl Iodide-Catalyzed Asymmetric Difluorinations of β-Substituted Styrenes.

A new interesting article has been published in J Am Chem Soc. 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b05935. [Epub ahead of print] and titled:

Mechanism and Origins of Chemo- and Stereoselectivities of Aryl Iodide-Catalyzed Asymmetric Difluorinations of β-Substituted Styrenes.

Authors of this article are:

Zhou B, Haj MK, Jacobsen EN, Houk KN, Xue XS.

A summary of the article is shown below:

The mechanism of the aryl iodide-catalyzed asymmetric migratory geminal difluorination of β-substituted styrenes (Banik et al. Science 2016, 353, 51) has been explored with density functional theory computations. The computed mechanism consists of (a) activation of iodoarene difluoride (ArIF2), (b) enantiodetermining 1, 2-fluoroiodination, (c) bridging phenonium ion formation via SN2 reductive displacement, and (d) regioselective fluoride addition. According to the computational model, the ArIF2 intermediate is stabilized through halogen-π interactions between the elec-tron-deficient iodine(III) center and the benzylic substituents at the catalyst stereogenic centers. Interactions with the catalyst ester carbonyl groups (I(III)+···O) are not observed in the unactivated complex, but do occur upon activation of ArIF2 through hydrogen bonding interactions with external Brønsted acid (HF). The 1, 2-fluoroiodination occurs via alkene complexation to the electrophilic, cationic I(III) center followed by C-F bond formation anti to the forming C-I bond. The bound olefin and the C-I bond of catalyst adopt a spiro-arrangement in the favored transition structures but a nearly periplanar arrangement in the disfavored transition structures. Multiple attractive non-covalent interactions, including slipped π···π stacking, C-H···O, and C-H···π interactions, are found to underlie the high asymmetric induc-tion. The chemoselectivity for 1,1-difluorination versus 1,2-difluorination is controlled mainly by 1) the steric effect of the substituent on the olefinic double bond, and 2) the nucleophilicity of the carbonyl oxygen of substrate.

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