Synergistic gold(I)/trimethylsilyl catalysis: Efficient alkynylation of N,O-acetals and related pro-electrophiles

Malina Michalska, Olivier Songis, Catherine Taillier, Sean P. Bew, Vincent Dalla

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22 Citations (Scopus)


We report a unique mechanism-guided reaction that enhances and expands the chemical space that readily generated gold(I) acetylides currently operate in. Our strategy exploits the propensity of gold(I) carbophilic catalysts with specific counteranions (LAuX - X=triflate or triflimidate) to efficiently activate and desilylate trimethylsilylalkynes, thereby mediating the in situ formation of equal and catalytic quantities of a silyl Lewis acid (TMSX) of tunable strength and a nucleophilic gold(I) acetylide. This unprecedented manifold opens avenues for developing synergistic silyl-gold(I)-catalyzed alkynylation strategies of diverse pro-electrophiles which were heretofore unattainable, the proof of concept being principally exemplified herein with the first catalytic alkynylation of N,O-acetals. The reaction proceeds at low catalyst loading, employs mild reaction conditions, is easily scalable, and affords propargylic lactam products in good to excellent yields. Furthermore, it is fully amenable to a diverse array of structure and function substrates, and also expands to other pro-electrophiles beyond N,O-acetals. Control experiments have been carried out that strongly support our dual reaction mechanism proposal which, furthermore, itself outlines an inextricable link between the strength of the ancillary silyl Lewis acid (TMSOTf versus TMSNTf) and the coordinating ability of the gold counter anion employed. This underlying feature of our system underscores its significant potential and flexibility, which indeed manifests with the demonstration that by carefully selecting the gold counter ion, it is possible to manipulate the strength of the ancillary silyl Lewis acid so that it can be tailored to the ionizing ability of a particular pro-electrophile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2040-2050
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Synthesis & Catalysis
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2014

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