Harder, Sjoerd; Boersma, Jaap; Brandsma, Lambert; Kanters, Jan A.; Duisenberg, Albert J. M.; Van Lenthe, Joop H.:

Isolation and crystal structure of a presumed intermediate in the reaction of an organolithium compound with an epoxide.

In: Organometallics, Jg. 9 (1990) ; Nr. 2, S. 511-516
ISSN: 0276-7333
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Chemie
The organolithium-epoxide complexes tetrakis(1-lithio-2-methoxybenzene)bis(ethylene oxide) and tetrakis(1-lithio-2-methoxybenzene)bis(propylene oxide), which are thought to be intermediates in the b-hydroxyalkylation of organolithium compds., have been isolated and characterized. NMR studies on these complexes in nonpolar solvents such as C6H6 and PhMe provide evidence for epoxide O to Li coordination. Addnl., the propylene oxide complex has been characterized by single-crystal x-ray diffraction at 100 K. The structure consists of a tetrameric aggregate of 1-lithio-2-methoxybenzene and two disordered propylene oxide mols., which coordinate to Li as external Lewis bases. Since ab initio calcns. (RHF; SV 3-21G) show the activation of the epoxide by Li coordination to be very small, the question of whether such complexes are intermediates in the nucleophilic ring opening of epoxides remains unanswered.