The Journal of organic chemistry

Indium-mediated asymmetric barbier-type allylations: additions to aldehydes and ketones and mechanistic investigation of the organoindium reagents.

PMID 20027999


We report a simple, efficient, and general method for the indium-mediated enantioselective allylation of aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes and ketones under Barbier-type conditions in a one-pot synthesis affording the corresponding chiral alcohol products in very good yield (up to 99%) and enantiomeric excess (up to 93%). Our method is able to tolerate various functional groups, such as esters, nitriles, and phenols. Additionally, more substituted allyl bromides, such as crotyl and cinnamyl bromide, can be used providing moderate enantioselectivity (72% and 56%, respectively) and excellent diastereoselectivity when employing cinnamyl bromide (>95/5 anti/syn). However, the distereoselectivity when using crotyl bromide was poor and other functionalized allyl bromides under our method afforded low enantioselectivities for the alcohol products. In these types of indium-mediated additions, solvent plays a major role in determining the nature of the organoindium intermediate and we observed the susceptibility of some allylindium intermediates to hydrolysis in protic solvents. Under our reaction conditions using a polar aprotic solvent, we suggest that an allylindium(III) species is the active allylating intermediate. In addition, we have observed the presence of a shiny, indium(0) nugget throughout the reaction, irrespective of the stoichiometry, indicating disproportionation of indium halide byproduct formed during the reaction.