Mechanochemistry-Amended Barbier Reaction as an Expedient Alternative to Grignard Synthesis

25 April 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Organomagnesium halides (Grignard reagents) are essential carbanionic building blocks widely used in carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond-forming reactions with various electrophiles. In the Barbier variant of the Grignard synthesis, the generation of air- and moisture-sensitive Grignard reagents occurs concurrently with their reaction with an electrophile. Although operationally simpler, the classic Barbier approach suffers from low yields due to multiple side reactions, thereby limiting the scope of its application. Here, we report a mechanochemical adaptation of the Mg-mediated Barbier reaction, which overcomes these limitations and facilitates the coupling of versatile organic halides (e.g., allylic, vinylic, aromatic, aliphatic) with a diverse range of electrophilic substrates (e.g., aldehydes, ketones, esters, amides, O-benzoyl hydroxylamine, chlorosilane, borate ester) to assemble C–C, C–N, C–Si, and C–B bonds. In contrast to the classic two-step Grignard synthesis, the mechanochemical approach has the advantage of being essentially solvent-free, single step, operationally simple, immune to air, and surprisingly tolerant to water and other proton donors. Mechanistic studies have clarified the role of mechanochemistry in the process, indicating that the reaction predominantly proceeds via the generation of transient organometallics, which occurs rapidly due to improved mass transfer and activation of the surface of magnesium metal


Grignard reagent
Barbier reaction

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Detailed information about optimization studies, experimental methods, compounds characterization data, copies of 1H and 13C NMR spectra


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