Molecules containing simple alkene functionality are attractive substrates in synthesis. Carbon-carbon double bonds are relatively stable groups, lacking polarisation, they can be carried through synthetic processes involving acid, base, mildly oxidative and reductive conditions. But, the availability of the π-electrons for reaction embodies remarkable potential for constructing substituted contiguous stereocentres and the possibility of introducing complex functionality to an all-carbon system.
In recent years, functionalisation of unactivated alkenes has blossomed with developments in robust metal-catalysed processes and new oxidating agents. In the last few weeks several reports of new alkene functionalisations have been published that cover many aspects of this broad area, and show the diverse utility of alkenes in synthesis.
Hayashi and co-workers have published an elegant cyclising difunctionalisation of dienes. The process is an iridium-catalysed C-H activation of cyclic aryl N-sulfonyl ketimines and gives spirocyclic aminoindane scaffolds with high diastereoselectivity.
We’ve already discussed an asymmetric cyclising aminofluorination…
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