Catalytic, Enantioselective Syn-Diamination of Alkenes

The enantioselective, vicinal diamination of alkenes represents one of the stereocontrolled additions that remains an outstanding challenge in organic synthesis. A general solution to this problem would enable the efficient and selective preparation of widely useful, enantioenriched diamines for applications in medicinal chemistry and catalysis. In this Article we describe the first enantioselective, syn-diamination of simple alkenes mediated by a chiral, enantioenriched organoselenium catalyst together with a N,N’-bistosyl urea as the bifunctional nucleophile and N-fluorocollidinium tetrafluoroborate as the stoichiometric oxidant. Diaryl, aryl-alkyl, and alkyl-alkyl olefins bearing a variety of substituents are all diaminated in consistently high enantioselectivities selectivities but variable yields. The reaction likely proceeds through a Se(II)/Se(IV) redox catalytic cycle reminiscent of the syn-dichlorination reported previously. Furthermore, the syn-stereospecificity of the transformation shows promise for highly enantioselective diaminations of alkenes with no strong steric or electronic bias.