Carboxylic Acid Derivatives Synthesis Essay

Earlier studies have shown that [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangements of allyl esters are useful for the construction of fluorine-containing carboxylic acid derivatives. This paper describes the synthesis of 3-aryl-pent-4-enoic acid derivatives bearing either a pentafluorosulfanyl (SF5) or a trifluoromethyl (CF3) substituent in the 2-position by treatment of corresponding SF5- or CF3-acetates of p-substituted cinnamyl alcohols with triethylamine followed by trimethylsilyl triflate (TMSOTf). This Ireland–Claisen rearrangement delivered approximate 1:1 mixtures of syn/anti diastereoisomers due to tiny differences (<0.5 kcal/mol) both in the energy of (Z)/(E)-isomeric ester enolates and in the alternative Zimmerman–Traxler transition states of model compounds as shown by DFT calculations. Acidic reaction conditions have to be avoided since addition of the reagents in opposite sequence (first TMSOTf then Et3N) led to oligomerization of the cinnamyl SF5- and CF3-acetates. Treatment of the corresponding regioisomeric 1-phenyl-prop-2-en-1-yl acetates under the latter conditions resulted in [1,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement and subsequent oligomerization of the intermediately formed cinnamyl esters. When Et3N was added first followed by TMSOTf, no further reaction of the formed ester was detected.

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