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Journal of the American Chemical Society

Lithium diisopropylamide-mediated enolization: catalysis by hemilabile ligands.


PMID 16881665

Abstract

Structural, kinetic, and computational studies reveal the mechanistic complexities of a lithium diisopropylamide (LDA)-mediated ester enolization. Hemilabile amino ether MeOCH2CH2NMe2, binding as an eta1 (ether-bound) ligand in the reactant and as an eta2 (chelating) ligand in the transition structure, accelerates the enolization 10,000-fold compared with n-BuOMe. At the onset of the reaction, a dimer-based enolization prevails. As the reaction proceeds, significantly less reactive LDA-enolate mixed dimers appear and divert the reaction through monomer- and mixed dimer-based pathways. The mechanistic and computational investigations lead to a proof-of-principle ligand-catalyzed enolization in which an ancillary ligand allows the catalytic ligand to re-enter the catalytic cycle.