The asymmetric hydrogenation of cyclic alkenes lacking coordinating functionality with a C1-symmetric bis(imino)pyridine cobalt catalyst is described and has been applied to the synthesis of important substructures found in natural products and biologically active compounds. High activities and enantioselectivities were observed with substituted benzo-fused five-, six-, and seven-membered alkenes. The stereochemical outcome was dependent on both the ring size and exo/endo disposition. Deuterium labeling experiments support rapid and reversible 2,1-insertion that is unproductive for generating alkane product but accounts for the unusual isotopic distribution in deuterated alkanes. Analysis of the stereochemical outcome of the hydrogenated products coupled with isotopic labeling, stoichiometric, and kinetic studies established 1,2-alkene insertion as both turnover limiting and enantiodetermining with no evidence for erosion of cobalt alkyl stereochemistry by competing β-hydrogen elimination processes. A stereochemical model accounting for the preferred antipodes of the alkanes is proposed and relies on the subtle influence of the achiral aryl imine substituent on the cobalt catalyst.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry