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The Synthesis of N,O-Ferrocenyl Pyrrolidine-Containing Ligands and Their Application in the Diethyl- and Diphenylzinc Addition to Aromatic Aldehydes

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posted on 2006-09-29, 00:00 authored by Theresa Ahern, Helge Müller-Bunz, Patrick J. Guiry
A facile route to a series of planar chiral N,O-ferrocenyl pyrrolidine-containing ligands with varying substituents at the nitrogen and oxygen donor atoms is described. The oxygen donor atom was introduced via a diastereoselective ortho-metalation of N-methylpyrrolidinyl and N-allylpyrrolidinyl ferrocene intermediates and was quenched with various ketones. The nitrogen substituent was varied through deallylation and subsequent derivatization of a secondary pyrrolidine. The efficacy of these novel ligands was investigated in the enantioselective addition of diethylzinc and diphenylzinc to aromatic aldehydes. The ligands proved highly effective in the diethylzinc addition to benzaldehyde that resulted in high yields of up to 99% and enantioselectivities (ee's) of up to 95%. The role of planar chirality was explored and the results indicated that the planar chirality, and not the central chirality, of the ferrocenyl ligands was the dominant stereo-controlling element. Employment of a mixed ethyl-phenylzinc reagent in the phenylation of aromatic aldehydes led to a mixture of the two additional products, and the phenylated product was obtained in up to 37% ee.