Ligand-Controlled Regiodivergence in Nickel-Catalyzed Hydroarylation and Hydroalkenylation of Alkenyl Carboxylic Acids

15 July 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


A nickel-catalyzed regiodivergent hydroarylation and hydroalkenylation of unactivated alkenyl carboxylic acids is reported, whereby the ligand environment around the metal center dictates the regiochemical outcome. Markovnikov hydrofunctionalization products are obtained under mild ligand-free conditions, with up to 99% yield and >20:1 selectivity. Alternatively, anti-Markovnikov products can be accessed with a novel 4,4-disubstituted Pyrox ligand in excellent yield and >20:1 selectivity. Both electronic and steric effects on the ligand contribute to the high yield and selectivity. Mechanistic studies suggest a change in the turnover-limiting and selectivity-determining step induced by the optimal ligand. DFT calculations reveal that in the anti-Markovnikov pathway, repulsion between the ligand and the alkyl group is minimized (by virtue of it being 1° versus 2°) in the rate- and regioselectivity-determining transmetalation transition state.


Directing Group
Alkene Functionalization

Supplementary materials

Supporting Info


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.