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Nitro-assisted Brønsted acid catalysis : activation of C(sp3)–O and C(sp3)–F bonds

Abstract : Alcohols are attractive electrophilic partners for nucleophilic substitution reactions as water is the only by-product in a reaction with protic nucleophiles. Despite being a highly desirable reaction, the scope of useful catalytic transformations remains limited to specific alcohol-nucleophile pairs and a general set of catalytic conditions remains elusive. This thesis describes the development of a general and mild catalyst system for the activation of a broad range of π-activated and aliphatic alcohols to address key limitations in the field. B(C6F6)3•H2O, a strong Brønsted acid, when combined with nitromethane has been found as a widely useful catalyst system for chemoselective alcohol substitution in the presence of acid sensitive functionalities and protecting groups without the typical compromises in reaction rates, substrate/nucleophile scope and catalyst loading. In particular, a co-catalytic effect of nitro compounds is described for the B(C6F6)3•H2O catalyzed azidation of tertiary aliphatic alcohols, enabling catalyst turnover for the first time. On the basis of kinetic, electronic, and spectroscopic investigations, higher order hydrogen-bonded aggregates of nitro compounds and acids are proposed as kinetically competent Brønsted acid catalysts at the origin of the enhanced reactivity. The utility of the new catalytic conditions has been extended beyond alcohol activation and applied to the cleavage of strong C–F bonds in defluorinative Friedel-Crafts reactions of tertiary aliphatic fluorides.
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Marian Dryzhakov. Nitro-assisted Brønsted acid catalysis : activation of C(sp3)–O and C(sp3)–F bonds. Organic chemistry. Université de Strasbourg, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016STRAF012⟩. ⟨tel-01588776⟩

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