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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cobalt-catalyzed trimethylsilylmethylmagnesium-promoted radical alkenylation of alkyl halides: A complement to the Heck reaction.

A cobalt complex, [CoCl2(dpph)] (DPPH = [1,6-bis(diphenylphosphino)hexane]), catalyzes an intermolecular styrylation reaction of alkyl halides in the presence of Me3SiCH2MgCl in ether to yield beta-alkylstyrenes. A variety of alkyl halides including alkyl chlorides can participate in the styrylation. A radical mechanism is strongly suggested for the styrylation reaction. The sequential isomerization/styrylation reactions of cyclopropylmethyl bromide and 6-bromo-1-hexene provide evidence of the radical mechanism. Crystallographic and spectroscopic investigations on cobalt complexes reveal that the reaction would begin with single electron transfer from an electron-rich (diphosphine)bis(trimethylsilylmethyl)cobalt(II) complex followed by reductive elimination to yield 1,2-bis(trimethylsilyl)ethane and a (diphosphine)cobalt(I) complex. The combination of [CoCl2(dppb)] (DPPB = [1,4-bis(diphenylphosphino)butane]) catalyst and Me3SiCH2MgCl induces intramolecular Heck-type cyclization reactions of 6-halo-1-hexenes via a radical process. On the other hand, the intramolecular cyclization of the prenyl ether of 2-iodophenol would proceed in a fashion similar to the conventional palladium-catalyzed transformation. The nonradical oxidative addition of carbon(sp2)-halogen bonds to cobalt is separately verified by a cobalt-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction of alkenyl halides with Me3SiCH2MgCl with retention of configuration of the starting vinyl halides. The cobalt-catalyzed intermolecular radical styrylation reaction of alkyl halides is applied to stereoselective variants. Styrylations of 1-alkoxy-2-bromocyclopentane derivatives provide trans-1-alkoxy-2-styrylcyclopentane skeletons, one of which is optically pure.[1]


  1. Cobalt-catalyzed trimethylsilylmethylmagnesium-promoted radical alkenylation of alkyl halides: A complement to the Heck reaction. Affo, W., Ohmiya, H., Fujioka, T., Ikeda, Y., Nakamura, T., Yorimitsu, H., Oshima, K., Imamura, Y., Mizuta, T., Miyoshi, K. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2006) [Pubmed]
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