Journal article

Functional group tolerant Kumada-Corriu-Tamao coupling of non-activated alkyl halides with aryl and heteroaryl nucleophiles: Catalysis by a nickel pincer complex permits the coupling of functionalized Grignard reagents

A nickel(II) pincer complex [(MeNN2)NiCl] (1) catalyzes Kumada−Corriu−Tamao cross coupling of nonactivated alkyl halides with aryl and heteroaryl Grignard reagents. The coupling of octyl bromide with phenylmagnesium chloride was used as a test reaction. Using 3 mol % of 1 as the precatalyst and THF as the solvent, and in the presence of a catalytic amount of TMEDA, the coupling product was obtained in a high yield. The reaction conditions could be applied to cross coupling of other primary and secondary alkyl bromides and iodides. The coupling is tolerant to a wide range of functional groups. Therefore, alkyl halides containing ester, amide, ether, thioether, alcohol, pyrrole, indole, furan, nitrile, conjugated enone, and aryl halide moieties were coupled to give high isolated yields of products in which these units stay intact. For the coupling of ester-containing substrates, O-TMEDA is a better additive than TMEDA. The reaction protocol proves to be efficient for the coupling of Knochel-type functionalized Grignard reagents. Thus aryl Grignard reagents containing electron-deficient and/or sensitive ester, nitrile, amide, and CF3 substituents could be successfully coupled to nonactivated and functionalized alkyl iodides. The catalysis is also efficient for the coupling of alkyl iodides with functionalized heteroaryl Grignard reagents, giving rise to pyridine-, thiophene-, pyrazole-, furan-containing molecules with additional functionalities. Concerning the mechanism of the catalysis, [(MeNN2)Ni-(hetero)Ar] was identified as an intermediate, and the activation of alkyl halides was found to take place through a radical-rebound process.


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