Mechanistic Insights into Rhenium-Catalyzed Regioselective C-Alkenylation of Phenols with Internal Alkynes.Chemistry. 2019 Nov 27; 25(66):15189-15197.C
A (μ-aryloxo)rhenium complex was isolated and confirmed as a key precatalyst for rhenium-catalyzed ortho-alkenylation (C-alkenylation) of unprotected phenols with alkynes. The reaction exclusively provided ortho-alkenylphenols; the formation of para or multiply alkenylated phenols and hydrophenoxylation (O-alkenylation) products was not observed. Several mechanistic experiments excluded a classical Friedel-Crafts-type mechanism, leading to the proposed phenolic hydroxyl group assisted electrophilic alkenylation as the most plausible reaction mechanism. For this purpose, the use of rhenium, a metal between the early and late transition metals in the periodic table, was key for the activation of both the soft carbon-carbon triple bond of the alkyne and the hard oxygen atom of the phenol, at the same time. ortho-Selective alkenylation with allenes also provided the corresponding adducts with a substitution pattern different from that obtained by the addition reaction with alkynes.