Integrating Allyl Electrophiles into Nickel-Catalyzed Conjunctive Cross-Coupling

Allylation and conjunctive cross-coupling represent two useful, yet largely distinct, reactivity paradigms in catalysis. The union of these two processes would offer exciting possibilities in organic synthesis but remains largely unknown. Herein, we report the use of allyl electrophiles in nickel-catalyzed conjunctive cross-coupling with a non-conjugated alkene and dimethylzinc. The transformation is enabled by weakly coordinating, monodentate azaheterocycle directing groups, that useful building blocks in synthesis, including saccharin, pyridones, pyrazoles, and triazoles. The reaction occurs under mild conditions and is compatible with a wide range of allyl electrophiles. High chemoselectivity through substrate directivity is demonstrated in the facile reactivity of the β-γ alkene of the starting material, while the ε-ζ alkene of the product is preserved. The generality of this approach is further illustrated through the development of analogous method with alkyne substrates. Mechanistic studies reveal the importance of the weakly coordinating directing group in dissociating to allow binding of the allyl moiety to facilitate C(sp3)–C(sp3) reductive elimination.