Author(s): McLaughlin EC, Choi H, Wang K, Chiou G, Doyle MP
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Abstract Dirhodium(II) caprolactamate exhibits optimal efficiency for the production of the tert-butylperoxy radical, which is a selective reagent for hydrogen atom abstraction. These oxidation reactions occur with aqueous tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) without rapid hydrolysis of the caprolactamate ligands on dirhodium. Allylic oxidations of enones yield the corresponding enedione in moderate to high yields, and applications include allylic oxidations of steroidal enones. Although methylene oxidation to a ketone is more effective, methyl oxidation to a carboxylic acid can also be achieved. The superior efficiency of dirhodium(II) caprolactamate as a catalyst for allylic oxidations by TBHP (mol \% of catalyst, \% conversion) is described in comparative studies with other metal catalysts that are also reported to be effective for allylic oxidations. That different catalysts produce essentially the same mixture of products with the same relative yields suggests that the catalyst is not involved in product-forming steps. Mechanistic implications arising from studies of allylic oxidation with enones provide new insights into factors that control product formation. A previously undisclosed disproportionation pathway, catalyzed by the tert-butoxy radical, of mixed peroxides for the formation of ketone products via allylic oxidation has been uncovered.
This article was published in J Org Chem
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science