Fanyang Mo and authors from Peking University have published a method to convert arylamines to pinacol boronates without the use of metals at room temperature. This is great news. The approach uses a Sandmeyer-type reaction sequence to activate the amine, the diboron reagent B 2pin2, and a catalytic amount of a radical initiator, benzoyl peroxide (BPO). Unfortunately, there are some limitations on the substrate scope as the substitution - and hence, the electronics - of the aryl ring strongly affect the reactivity of the arylamines. For example, meta-substitued electron donating groups are not tolerated, and steric bulk via ortho substituents do result in low yields or even trace amounts of products. Halogen substituents are tolerated, though, which could potentially be useful further on in a synthesis for orthogonal reactivity. The optimized reaction conditions and a sampling from the substrate table are below.
As the isolation of boronic acids and esters can sometimes be tricky, the researchers were able to establish that the crude material can be treated with activated charcoal and filtered through Celite to produce a compound that can undergo the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction (under standard conditions) well. Those provided in the paper are below. Cool, huh?
- Mo, F., Jiang, Y., Qiu, D., Zhang, Y., & Wang, J. (2010). Direct Conversion of Arylamines to Pinacol Boronates: A Metal-Free Borylation Process Angewandte Chemie International Edition DOI: 10.1002/anie.200905824