Intramolecularly Sulfur-Stabilized Silicon Cations with Chiral Binaphthyl Backbones: Synthesis of Three Different Motifs and Their Application in Enantioselective Diels–Alder Reactions

The formation and <sup>29</sup>Si NMR spectroscopic characterization of silicon cations that are intramolecularly stabilized by a dialkyl thioether are described. The chemical stability of the silicon–sulfur Lewis pair and, hence, the viability of the approach, were probed with a 2-[(alkylthio)­methyl]­phenyl-substituted hydrosilane as a proxy before three different motifs with chiral binaphthyl backbones were prepared in multistep sequences. The degree of shielding of the silicon atom in these cations was found to depend on the substitution pattern at the silicon atom and the ring size generated by the silicon–sulfur interaction. These sulfur-stabilized silicon cations are sufficiently reactive to promote Diels–Alder reactions of cyclohexa-1,3-diene with various dienophiles; the same set of reactions with cyclopentadiene is also reported. One of the three chiral Lewis acids induces low, but promising, enantioselectivity, and 24% ee is the highest value so far obtained with a cationic tetracoordinate silicon catalyst.