Benzylic trichloroacetimidates are readily displaced by trimethylaluminum under Lewis acid promoted conditions to provide the corresponding methyl substitution product. This method is a convenient way to access 1,1′-diarylethanes and related systems, which play a significant role in medicinal chemistry, with a number of systems owing their biological activity to this functionality. Most benzylic substrates undergo ready displacement, with electron deficient systems being the exception. The use of an enantiopure imidate showed significant racemization, implicating the formation of a cationic intermediate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry