In Nitrones, Nitronates and Nitroxides: The Chemistry of Functional Groups
- E. Breuer, H. G. Aurich, A. Nielsen
- New York,
The reactions of nitronates of ring-substituted phenylnitromethanes and enolates of ring-substituted 1-phenyl-2-propanones with MeOBs gave exclusively the O-methylated and C-methylated products, respectively. DFT calculations suggested that two factors, namely, intrinsic barriers and metal-cation coordination, control the C/O selectivity. The kinetic preference for O-methylation in the reactions of nitronates arises from the intrinsic barriers, which are ca. 10 kcal/mol lower for O-methylation than for C-methylation. The situation is the same for the gas-phase reaction of an enolate, in which the O-methylation is more favorable than the C-methylation. The experimentally observed C-selectivity of enolate reactions in solution is due to the metal-cation coordination, which hinders O-methylation for enolates. The effects of the enolate reactivity and the solvent on the C/O selectivity are also rationalized to arise from the two factors.