Rh-Catalyzed Reagent-Free Ring Expansion of Cyclobutenones and Benzocyclobutenones
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Here we report a reagent-free rhodium-catalyzed ring-expansion reaction via C-C cleavage of cyclobutenones. A variety of poly-substituted cyclopentenones and 1-indanones can be synthesized from simple cyclobutenones and benzocyclobutenones. The reaction condition is near pH neutral without additional oxidants or reductants. The potential for developing a dynamic kinetic asymmetric transformation of this reaction has also been demonstrated. Further study supports the proposed pathway involving Rh-insertion into the cyclobutenone C-C bond, followed by beta-hydrogen elimination, olefin insertion and reductive elimination.