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Alkylation of nitroaromatics with tetraalkylborate ion via electrochemical oxidation.

Authors
  • Gallardo, Iluminada
  • Guirado, Gonzalo
  • Marquet, Jordi
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of organic chemistry
Publication Date
Sep 19, 2003
Volume
68
Issue
19
Pages
7334–7341
Identifiers
PMID: 12968884
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Aromatic nucleophilic substitution reaction (S(N)Ar) is one of the most thoroughly studied reactions. Alkylation of nitroaromatics with Grignard reagents via chemical oxidation of the sigma(H)-complexes is the most general method to introduce an alkyl group into a nitroaromatic compound. This approach has considerable drawbacks, especially when more than one nitro group are present in the aromatic ring. In this article, we present an electrochemical approach, which offers a new very selective methodology for obtaining alkyl polynitroaromatic compounds. Different strategies based on the use of tetralkylborate anion as nucleophiles are used so as to increase efficiency and to reduce the drawbacks associated with this reaction. A wide list of dinitro- and trinitro-aromatic compounds are studied, the range of yields obtained being from fair (40%) to excellent (85%). The key to improvement in the process is the use of electrochemical techniques for the oxidation of the mixture sigma(H)-complexes/tetrabutylborate ion. The electroactive character of the nucleophile, which can be oxidized to an alkyl radical, means that the S(N)Ar of the hydrogen polar mechanism is not the only mechanism operating during the electroxidation process, since the hydrogen radical S(N)Ar mechanism is running at the same time. Electrochemical mechanistic studies allow the participation of each mechanism in the global product yield obtained to be quantified.

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