The tripodal compounds [(TMG3trphen)MII-solv](PF6)2 (M = Mn, Fe, Co; solv = MeCN, DMF) and bipodal analogues [(TMG2biphen)MII(NCMe)x](PF6)2 (x = 3 for Mn, Fe; x = 2 for Co) and [(TMG2biphen)MIICl2] have been synthesized with ligands that feature a triaryl- or diarylmethyl-amine framework and superbasic tetramethylguanidinyl residues (TMG). The dicationic M(II) sites mediate catalytic nitrene-transfer reactions between the imidoiodinane PhI═NTs (Ts = tosyl) and a panel of styrenes in MeCN to afford aziridines and low yields of imidazolines (upon MeCN insertion) with an order of productivity that favors the bipodal over the tripodal reagents and a metal preference of Fe > Co ≥ Mn. In CH2Cl2, the more acidic Fe(II) sites favor formation of 2,4-diaryl-N-tosylpyrrolidines by means of an in situ (3 + 2) cycloaddition of the initially generated 2-aryl-N-tosylaziridine with residual styrene. In the presence of ketone, 1,3-oxazolidines can be formed in practicable yields, involving a single-pot cycloaddition reaction of alkene, nitrene, and ketone (2 + 1 + 2). Mechanistic studies indicate that the most productive bipodal Fe(II) site mediates stepwise addition of nitrene to olefins to generate aziridines with good retention of stereochemistry and further enables aziridine ring opening to unmask a 1,3-zwitterion that can undergo cycloaddition with dipolarophiles (MeCN, alkene, ketone) to afford five-membered N-heterocycles.
S. K. Sahoo et al., "Cationic Divalent Metal Sites (M = Mn, Fe, Co) Operating As Both Nitrene-Transfer Agents And Lewis Acids Toward Mediating The Synthesis Of Three- And Five-Membered N-Heterocycles," Inorganic Chemistry, vol. 62, no. 27, pp. 10743 - 10761, American Chemical Society, Jul 2023.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c01209
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10 Jul 2023