Nondynamic Kinetic Resolution of Configurationally Stable Biaryl Lactones by Reduction with Oxazaborolidine-Activated Borane:  AM1 Studies and Experimental Verification<sup>†</sup>

The complete mechanistic course of the atroposelective ring opening of a lactone-bridged biaryl, dinaphth[2,1-<i>c</i>:1‘,2‘-<i>e</i>]oxepin-3-(5<i>H</i>)-one (<b>3</b>), with a chiral oxazaborolidine−BH<sub>3</sub> complex was calculated using the semiempirical AM1 method. The first hydride transfer to the activated carbonyl function of the adduct complexes was elaborated to be the selectivity-determining step in the postulated five-step mechanism. The calculated enantioselectivity is in good accordance with the experimental results, so that related calculations were performed on the atroposelective ring opening of a sterically strongly hindered and therefore also configurationally stable six-membered biaryl lactone, 1,3-di-<i>tert</i>-butyl-6<i>H</i>-benzo[<i>b</i>]naphtho[1,2-<i>d</i>]pyran-6-one (<b>6f</b>). These calculations predicted a highly (<i>M</i>)-selective reduction of <b>6f</b> (<i>k</i><sub>M</sub>/<i>k</i><sub>P</sub> = 358 at −78 °C), which, after the smooth preparation of <b>6f</b> by intramolecular biaryl coupling in high yields, was fully confirmed experimentally (<i>k</i><sub>M</sub>/<i>k</i><sub>P</sub> > 200 at −78 °C). Isolation of the intermediate hydroxy aldehyde (<i>M</i>)-<b>14</b> at the beginning of the reaction with the same enantiomeric excess as found for the corresponding alcohol (<i>M</i>)-<b>7f</b> conclusively showed the first hydride transfer step to determine the selectivity of this process. The good agreement of computationally predicted and experimentally confirmed values proves the suitability of the AM1 method for mechanistic studies on even such complex reactions and opens a most efficient overall synthesis of sterically highly hindered biaryls, in excellent chemical (for the ring closure) and optical (for the ring cleavage) yields and for any desired axial configuration.