Chemoselective Double Annulation of Two Different Isocyanides: Rapid Access to Trifluoromethylated Indole-Fused Heterocycles

An unprecedented chemoselective double annulation of α-trifluoromethylated isocyanides with <i>o</i>-acylaryl isocyanides has been developed. This new reaction provides a rapid, efficient, and complete atom-economic strategy for the synthesis of trifluoromethylated oxadiazino­[3,2-<i>a</i>]­indoles in a single operation from readily available starting materials. Isocyanide insertion into CO double bonds is disclosed for the first time as indicated by the results of <sup>18</sup>O-labeling experiment. A mechanism for this domino reaction is proposed involving chemoselective heterodimerization of two different isocyanides, followed by indole-2,3-epoxide formation and rearrangement.