A one-pot transformation of biaryl dicarboxylic acids to (NH)-phenanthridinone derivatives based on a Curtius rearrangement and subsequent basic hydrolysis was developed. This method is also applicable for the preparation of optically active amide-functionalized helicene-like molecules. Furthermore, azahelicene derivatives with a phosphate moiety were isolated as a product of the Curtius rearrangement step in the case of substrates that bear chalcogen atoms. The stereostructures of these products, revealed by X-ray diffraction analysis, suggested that chalcogen-bonding and pnictogen-bonding interactions might contribute to their stabilization. The configurational stability of the helicene-like molecules and their chiroptical properties were further investigated.
Experimental procedure, spectroscopic, and HPLC data