Atom-Economical Cross-Coupling of Internal and Terminal Alkynes to Access 1,3-Enynes


Selective carbon–carbon (C–C) bond formation in chemical synthesis generally requires pre-functionalized building blocks. However, the requisite pre-functionalization steps undermine the efficiency of multi-step synthetic sequences, which is particularly problematic in large-scale applications, such as in the commercial production of pharmaceuticals. Herein, we describe a selective and catalytic method for synthesizing 1,3-enynes without pre-functionalized building blocks. This method is facilitated by a tailored P,N-ligand that enables regioselective coupling and suppresses secondary E/Z-isomerization of the product. The transformation enables several classes of unactivated internal acceptor alkynes to be coupled with terminal donor alkynes to deliver 1,3-enynes in a highly regio- and stereoselective manner. The scope of compatible acceptor alkynes includes propargyl alcohols, (homo)propargyl amine derivatives, and (homo)propargyl carboxamides. The reaction is scalable and can operate effectively with 0.5 mol% catalyst loading. The products are versatile intermediates that can participate in various downstream transformations. We also present preliminary mechanistic experiments that are consistent with a redox-neutral Pd(II) catalytic cycle.


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