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Multicomponent Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of trans-Aziridines

Zhou, Yubai, Gupta, Anil K., Mukherjee, Munmun, Zheng, Li, Wulff, William D.
Journal of organic chemistry 2017 v.82 no.24 pp. 13121-13140
aldehydes, amines, carbamates, catalysts, chemical reactions, diazo compounds, epoxides, ethers, ethyleneimine, moieties, organic chemistry
A multicomponent trans-aziridination of aldehydes, amines, and diazo compounds with BOROX catalysts is developed. The optimal protocol is slightly different for aryl aldehydes than for aliphatic aldehydes. The key to the success with aryl aldehydes was allowing the catalyst, aldehyde, and amine to react for 20 min before addition of the diazo compound. A variety of 11 different electron-poor and electron-rich aryl aldehydes were screened to give trans-aziridines in 73–90% yield with 82–99% ee and trans/cis selectivities of 19:1 to >99:1. The optimal protocol for the trans-aziridination of aliphatic aldehydes did not require prereaction of the catalyst, aldehyde, and amine, and instead, the diazo compound could be added directly. The scope of the reaction is limited to unbranched aliphatic aldehydes and was tolerant of a number of functional groups including ethers, esters, epoxides, carbamates, and phthalimides. A total of 10 aliphatic aldehydes were examined and found to give trans-aziridines in 60–88% yield with 60–98% ee and trans/cis selectivities of 6:1 to >99:1. Alkenyl aldehydes did not react, but an alkynyl aldehyde gave a 71% yield and 95% ee of an aziridine that was found to be the cis- and not the trans-diastereomer. The aryl and aliphatic aldehydes both gave the trans-aziridines with the same absolute configuration with the same catalyst; however, in those cases where cis-aziridines were formed, the configuration was opposite for those formed from aryl versus aliphatic aldehydes.