skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: General and practical intramolecular decarbonylative coupling of thioesters via palladium catalysis
We report a general and practical palladium-catalyzed intramolecular decarbonylative coupling of thioesters via C–S bond cleavage, decarbonylation and C–S bond reformation. This robust approach shows excellent functional group tolerance and broad substrate scope using a commercially available, cheap, and practical Pd(OAc) 2 catalyst and phosphine ligands. This strategy operates under base-free conditions. The catalytic system represents the simplest method for intramolecular decarbonylation of thioesters by palladium catalysis reported to date. This versatile protocol is readily performed on a gram scale and applied in late-stage drug derivatization.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Organic Chemistry Frontiers
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1587 to 1592
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    We report conversion of esters to thioesters via selective C–O bond cleavage/weak C–S bond formation under transition-metal-free conditions. The method is notable for a general and practical transition-metal-free system, broad substrate scope and excellent functional group tolerance. The strategy was successfully deployed in late-stage thioesterification, site-selective cross-coupling/thioesterification/decarbonylation and easy-to-handle gram scale thioesterification. Selectivity and computational studies were performed to gain insight into the formation of weak C–S bonds by C–O bond cleavage, which contrasts with the traditional trend of nucleophilic additions to carboxylic acid derivatives. 
    more » « less
  2. A method for the synthesis of sulfides from carboxylic acids via thioester C–S activation and acyl capture has been developed, wherein thioesters serve as dual electrophilic activators of carboxylic acids and S-nucleophiles through the merger of decarbonylative palladium catalysis and sulfur coupling. This new concept employs readily available carboxylic acids as coupling partners to directly intercept sulfur reagents via redox-neutral thioester-enabled cross-over thioetherification. The scope of this platform is demonstrated in the highly selective decarbonylative thioetherification of a variety of carboxylic acids and thioesters, including late-stage derivatization of pharmaceuticals and natural products. This method operates under mild, external base-free, and operationally practical conditions, providing a powerful new framework to unlock aryl electrophiles from carboxylic acids and increase the reactivity by employing common building blocks in organic synthesis. 
    more » « less
  3. Palladium-catalyzed Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling or aryl halides is widely employed in the synthesis of many important molecules in synthetic chemistry, including pharmaceuticals, polymers and functional materials. Herein, we disclose the first palladium-catalyzed decarbonylative Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of amides for the synthesis of biaryls through the selective activation of the N–C(O) bond of amides. This new method relies on the precise sequence engineering of the catalytic cycle, wherein decarbonylation occurs prior to the transmetallation step. The reaction is compatible with a wide range of boronic acids and amides, providing valuable biaryls in high yields (>60 examples). DFT studies support a mechanism involving oxidative addition, decarbonylation and transmetallation and provide insight into high N–C(O) bond activation selectivity. Most crucially, the reaction establishes the use of palladium catalysis in the biaryl Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of the amide bond and should enable the design of a wide variety of cross-coupling methods in which palladium rivals the traditional biaryl synthesis from aryl halides and pseudohalides. 
    more » « less
  4. A unique chain-rupturing transformation that converts an ether functionality into two hydrocarbyl units and carbon monoxide is reported, mediated by iridium( i ) complexes supported by aminophenylphosphinite (NCOP) pincer ligands. The decarbonylation, which involves the cleavage of one C–C bond, one C–O bond, and two C–H bonds, along with formation of two new C–H bonds, was serendipitously discovered upon dehydrochlorination of an iridium( iii ) complex containing an aza-18-crown-6 ether macrocycle. Intramolecular cleavage of macrocyclic and acyclic ethers was also found in analogous complexes featuring aza-15-crown-5 ether or bis(2-methoxyethyl)amino groups. Intermolecular decarbonylation of cyclic and linear ethers was observed when diethylaminophenylphosphinite iridium( i ) dinitrogen or norbornene complexes were employed. Mechanistic studies reveal the nature of key intermediates along a pathway involving initial iridium( i )-mediated double C–H bond activation. 
    more » « less
  5. The Sonogashira cross-coupling is one of the most fundamental C–C bond-forming reactions, wherein the strategic value of an alkyne moiety has found widespread applications at the frontiers of organic chemistry, materials science and drug discovery as the cornerstone building block of chemical synthesis. Although traditional variants of Sonogashira cross-coupling involve aryl halides and pseudohalides as electrophiles, recently, tremendous advances have been made in the unconventional disconnection exploiting common carboxylic acids by a decarbonylation/transmetalation pathway. This manifold (1) permits one to take advantage of carboxylic acids as a ubiquitous class of substrates in organic synthesis that are derived from an orthogonal pool of precursors to aryl halides and pseudohalides and (2) combines the benefits of the palladium-catalyzed C(sp 2 )–C(sp) coupling of terminal alkynes with the inherent presence of the carboxylic acid moiety in pharmaceuticals, natural products and organic materials. In this highlight article, we summarize the recent progress in the decarbonylative Sonogashira cross-coupling of carboxylic acid electrophiles to produce arylalkynes and conjugated enynes as a novel avenue for chemical synthesis, whereby a large number of chemical reactions critically rely on transformations of alkynes. 
    more » « less