Ir(I)-Catalyzed C–H Borylation

By: Josephine Nakhla, Chemfiles Volume 11 Article 1

Market Segment Manager
Organometallics and Catalysis

Arylboronic acids and esters are invaluable tools for the chemical community. These powerful reagents are used for a variety of transformations, most notably the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction. This reaction is used to selectively construct C–C bonds through the combination of an organo-boron nucleophile with a suitable aryl, alkenyl, or alkyl halide or triflate. While the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction has become commonplace within the synthetic community, one limitation of this method is the limited ability to access the requisite organo-boron species.

Historically, methods for the synthesis for aryl C–B bonds have relied upon the use of harshly basic reaction conditions or substrates containing prefunctionalized carbon centers. These shortcomings require that additional steps must be taken to either protect sensitive functionality or install the necessary functional handle prior to C–B bond formation (Scheme 1).

Scheme 1: Classical methods for C–B bond formation.

The direct formation of aryl C–B bonds from aryl C–H bonds thus represents a powerful strategy for streamlining the synthesis of these useful reagents (Scheme 2).1

Scheme 2: Metal-catalyzed direct C–H borylation.

Building upon their previous work within the area,2 Professor John F. Hartwig has disclosed a method for the direct conversion of aryl C–H bonds to aryl C–B bonds through the use of an Ir(I) catalyst and B2pin2 (Table 1).3 This powerful system displays excellent regioselectivity that can be easily predicted by sterics and leads to the rapid synthesis of highly useful arylboronic esters.

Table 1: Ir(I)-Catalyzed aryl C–H borylation.

This method provides a simple and direct route to arylboronic esters that fully avoids the use of harshly basic reaction conditions and does not require multiple reaction steps and manipulations. Importantly, this reaction employs catalysts and reagents that are all readily accessible, and now available from Aldrich.

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  1. Cho, J. Y.; Tse, M. K.; Holmes, D.; Maleczka Jr., R. E.; Smith III, M. R. Science, 2002, 295, 305
  2. (a) Chen, H.; Hartwig, J. F. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1999, 38, 3391. (b) Chen, H.; Schlecht, S.; Semple, T. C.; Hartwig, J. F. Science 2000, 287, 1995.
  3. Hartwig, J. F. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 390.
  4. Hartwig, J. F. et al. Chem. Rev. 2010, 110, 890.

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