标题：Theoretical Investigations towards the Staudinger Reaction Catalyzed by N-Heterocyclic Carbene: Mechanism and Stereoselectivity
作者：Tang, Ke; Wang, Jinhu; Cheng, Xueli; Hou, Qianqian; Liu, Yongjun
作者机构：[Tang, Ke; Wang, Jinhu; Cheng, Xueli; Hou, Qianqian; Liu, Yongjun] Shandong Univ, Sch Chem & Chem Engn, Minist Educ, Key Lab Colloid & Interface Chem, 更多
通讯作者地址：[Liu, YJ]Shandong Univ, Sch Chem & Chem Engn, Minist Educ, Key Lab Colloid & Interface Chem, Jinan 250100, Peoples R China.
来源：EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
关键词：Heterocycles; Carbenes; Reaction mechanisms; Stereoselectivity; Density; functional calculations
摘要：N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) have experimentally proved to be powerful catalysts for the Staudinger reaction ([2+2] cycloaddition of a ketene with an imine) but without giving a clear catalytic mechanism. According to different experimental results, the "ketene-first" and the "imine-first" mechanisms, arguing which reactant should be initially activated by the NHC catalyst, have been proposed. Our theoretical investigation by employing density functional theory (DFT) reveals that the reaction mechanism of the NHC-catalyzed Staudinger reaction is exclusively the "ketene-first" mechanism, but the competitive reactions of NHC catalysts with ketenes or imines will lead to different experimental observations. On the basis of this conclusion, we found that the NHC-catalyzed Staudinger reaction would exhibit different stereoselectivities by appropriate choice of the nitrogen substituent of the imines. Furthermore, these results are supposed to be applicable for other nucleophile-catalyzed Staudinger reactions.