Mechanism of nickel(II)-catalyzed C(2)-H alkynylation of indoles with alkynyl bromide

TitleMechanism of nickel(II)-catalyzed C(2)-H alkynylation of indoles with alkynyl bromide
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKhake, SM, Jain, S, Patel, UN, Gonnade, RG, Vanka, K, Punji, B
Date PublishedJUL

The nickel system (THF)(2)NiBr2/phen has recently been shown as an efficient catalyst for the C-H bond alkynylation of diverse heteroarenes with (triisopropylsilyl)alkynyl bromide via monodentate chelation assistance. Herein, we report an extensive mechanistic investigation for the direct alkynylation of indoles involving the well-defined nickel catalyst, which features a coordinative insertion pathway of alkynyl bromide with the Ni(II) catalyst. Catalytic relevant nickel complexes, (phen)NiCl2 (5), (phen)(2)NiCl2 (6) and [(phen)(3)Ni].NiCl4 (7) were isolated, and the complexes 6 and 7 were structurally characterized. Well-defined complexes were as competent as the in situ generated catalyst system (THF)(2)NiBr2/phen for the alkynylation of indoles. Various controlled studies and reactivity experiments were performed to understand the probable pathway for the alkynylation reaction. Kinetics analysis highlights that the complex (phen)NiX2 acts as a precatalyst, and the involvement of substrate indole and LiO'Bu are essential for the generation of the active catalyst. Deuterium labeling and kinetic studies suggest that the process involving C-H cleavage and carbo-nickelation of indole is a crucial rate influencing step. Reactivity study of various alkynyl compounds with nickel-species highlights a migratory insertion route for the reaction. DFT calculations firmly support the experimental findings and suggest the coordinative insertion pathway of alkynyl bromide rather than oxidative addition toward the nickel(II) center.

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Divison category: 
Center for Material Characterization (CMC)
Chemical Engineering & Process Development
Physical and Materials Chemistry