The reaction mechanisms of palladium-catalyzed divergent reactions of 1,6-enyne carbonates have been investigated using DFT calculations at the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) (LanL2DZ for Pd) level. Solvent effects on these reactions have been considered by the polarizable continuum model (PCM) for the solvent (DMF). The formation of vinylidenepyridines and vinylidenepyrrolidines were generated through 5-exo-dig cyclization or 6-endo-dig cyclization. Our calculation results suggested the following: (i) The first step of the whole cycle is the rate-determining step, which causes allenic palladium intermediate through two plausible pathways. This intermediate provides the corresponding products and releases the palladium catalyst by a subsequent hydrogen transfer and elimination process. (ii) For the catalyst CH3OPdH, the reaction could occur through two possible pathways, but 5-exo-dig cyclization is favoured over 6-endo-dig cyclization. However, when the hydrogen atom is substituted with a phenyl group, the energy barriers for 5-exo-dig cyclization or 6-endo-dig cyclization become relatively high, 18.0–28.5 kcal/mol. The computational results provide good explanation for the experimental observations.
Volume 132, 2019
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