Engaging Aldehydes in CuH-Catalyzed Reductive Coupling Reactions: Stereoselective Allylation with Unactivated 1,3-Diene Pronucleophiles.Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 11 18; 58(47):17074-17080.AC
Recently, CuH-catalyzed reductive coupling processes involving carbonyl compounds and imines have become attractive alternatives to traditional methods for stereoselective addition because of their ability to use readily accessible and stable olefins as surrogates for organometallic nucleophiles. However, the inability to use aldehydes, which usually reduce too rapidly in the presence of copper hydride complexes to be viable substrates, has been a major limitation. Shown here is that by exploiting relative concentration effects through kinetic control, this intrinsic reactivity can be inverted and the reductive coupling of 1,3-dienes with aldehydes achieved. Using this method, both aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes can be transformed into synthetically valuable homoallylic alcohols with high levels of diastereo- and enantioselectivities, and in the presence of many useful functional groups. Furthermore, using a combination of theoretical (DFT) and experimental methods, important mechanistic features of this reaction related to stereo- and chemoselectivities were uncovered.