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Synthesis of aldehydes and ketones

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Fukuyama Coupling


Grignard Reaction


Grignard Reaction


Seebach Umpolung


Stetter Synthesis


Weinreb Ketone Synthesis


Recent Literature


Carboxylic acids were converted directly in good yields into ketones using excess alkyl cyanocuprates (R2CuLi•LiCN). A substrate with a stereocenter α to the carboxylic acid was converted with very little loss of enantiomeric purity. A variety of functional groups were tolerated including aryl bromides. This direct transformation involves a relatively stable copper ketal tetrahedral intermediate.
D. T Genna, G. H. Posner, Org. Lett., 2011, 13, 5358-5361.


Unsymmetrical dialkyl ketones can be prepared by the nickel-catalyzed reductive coupling of carboxylic acid chlorides or (2-pyridyl)thioesters with alkyl iodides or benzylic chlorides. Various functional groups are tolerated, including common nitrogen protecting groups and C-B bonds. Even hindered ketones flanked by tertiary and secondary centers can be formed.
A. C. Wotal, D. J. Weix, Org. Lett., 2012, 14, 1363-1365.


N-acylazetidines are bench-stable, readily available amide acylating reagents, in which the reactivity is controlled by amide pyramidalization and strain of the four-membered ring. A general and highly chemoselective synthesis of ketones by the addition of organometallics to N-acylazetidines via stable tetrahedral intermediates offers wide substrate scope and exquisite selectivity for the ketone products.
C. Liu, M. Achtenhagen, M. Szostak, Org. Lett., 2016, 18, 2375-2378.


A range of unsymmetrical ketones has been prepared in good yields from aldehydes in one simple synthetic operation by addition of organolithium compounds followed by an oxidation using N-tert-butylphenylsulfinimidoyl chloride.
J. J. Crawford, K. W. Hederson, W. J. Kerr, Org. Lett., 2006, 8, 5073-5076.


Visible light photoredox/nickel dual catalysis enables a cross-coupling of acyl chlorides with potassium alkyltrifluoroborates via a single-electron-mediated alkyl transfer. This protocol circumvents the restriction of using reactive alkylmetallic nucleophiles in transition-metal-catalyzed acylation and achieves a mild and efficient synthesis of unsymmetrical alkyl ketones.
J. Amani, G. A. Molander, J. Org. Chem., 2017, 82, 1856-1863.


The use of Zn powder in the presence of LiCl in THF allows a simple, high-yielding preparation of a broad range of functionalized aryl- and heteroarylzinc reagents. The synthesis of alkylzinc reagents was performed from inexpensive alkyl bromides.
A. Krasovski, V. Malakhov, A. Gavryushin, P. Knochel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2006, 45, 6040-6044.


FeCl2 catalyzes a smooth and convenient acylation of functionalized arylzinc halides and benzylic zinc chlorides with various acid chlorides to provide polyfunctionalized diaryl and aryl benzyl ketones.
A. D. Benischke, M. Leroux, I. Knoll, P. Knochel, Org. Lett., 2016, 18, 3626-3629.


A new Ni catalyst is capable of effecting the rapid cross-coupling of acid fluorides, acid chlorides, acyl cyanides, anhydrides, thioesters, and pyridyl esters with both groups of diorganozinc reagents. Reactions with acid fluorides as electrophilic partners tolerate epimerizable functionality as well as leaving groups.
Y. Zhang, T. Rovis, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126, 15964-15965.


A nickel-catalyzed intermolecular hydroacylation reaction of alkenes with simple aldehydes offers an approach to the selective preparation of branched ketones in high yields and selectivities. The origin of the reactivity and regioselectivity of this reaction was investigated computationally.
L.-J. Xiao, X.-N. Fu, M.-J. Zhou, J.-H. Xie, L.-X. Wang, X.-F. Xu, Q.-L. Zhou, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 2957-2960.


A mild procedure enables a convergent ketone assembly from nonstabilized diazoalkanes and aldehydes, including examples of chiral ketone synthesis with disubstituted (internal) nucleophiles. The method’s remarkable tolerance to steric crowding is showcased in a simple approach to achyrofuran, a complex dibenzofuran.
A. J. Wommack, D. C. Moebius, A. L. Travis, J. S. Kingsbury, Org. Lett., 2009, 11, 3202-3205.


A convenient procedure for the synthesis of unsymmetrical ketones from bench-stable tosylhydrazones and aryl aldehydes can be performed in one pot from the parent carbonyl compound and needs only a base without additional promoters.
D. M. Allwood, D. C. Blakemore, S. V. Ley, Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 3064-3067.


Tetraorganoindates, which are easily prepared from 1 eq. of InCl3 and 4 eq. of organometallics, could be employed as effective nucleophilic cross-coupling partners in Pd-catalyzed carbonylative cross-coupling reactions with a variety of halides. The present method gave unsymmetrical ketones in good yields.
S. W. Lee, K. Lee, D. Seomoon, S. Kim, H. Kim, H. Kim, E. Shim, M. Lee, J. Org. Chem., 2004, 69, 4852-4855.


An effective and operationally simple palladium-catalyzed regioselective hydroformylation of olefins with formic acid provides linear aldehydes in good yield with excellent regioselectivity. 1,3-Bis(diphenylphosphino)propane (dppp) as the ligand plays a crucial role in directing the reaction pathway. The process requires no syngas.
W. Ren, W. Chang, J. Dai, Y. Shi, J. Li, Y. Shi, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 14864-14867.


Hydroformylation of alkenes can be carried out in a few minutes under microwave activation at a relatively low pressure (2.7 atm) using commercially available catalysts and ligands. After 4 min of microwave irradiation, the corresponding aldehyde is formed in high yield.
E. Petricci, A. Mann, A. Schoenfelder, A. Rota, M. Taddei, Org. Lett., 2006, 8, 3725-3727.


The 6-DPPon/rhodium catalyst allows for the first time a room temperature/ambient pressure hydroformylation of various, structurally diverse terminal alkenes with low catalyst loadings. This protocol omits the need for special pressure equipment and should find wide application in organic synthesis.
W. Seiche, A. Schuschkowski, B. Breit, Adv. Syn. Catal., 2005, 1488-1494.


An enantioselective Ni-catalyzed reductive cross-coupling of acid chlorides with racemic secondary benzyl chlorides in the presence of Mn0 as a stoichiometric reductant generates acyclic α,α-disubstituted ketones in good yields and high enantioselectivity. The mild, base-free reaction conditions tolerate various functional groups on both coupling partners.
A. H. Cherney, N. T. Kadunce, S. E. Reisman, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 7442-7445.


Boron Lewis acid promoted formal insertion of aryldiazoalkane into the C-H bond of both aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes enables a novel, catalytic enantioselective route to α-tertiary aryl ketones. In the presence of a chiral (S)-oxazaborolidinium ion catalyst, the reaction proceeded in good yields with excellent enantioselectivities.
B. C. Kang, D. G. Nam, G.-S. Hwang, D.-H. Ryu, Org. Lett., 2015, 17, 4810-4813.


Rhodium-catalyzed regioselective arylzincation of terminal allenes affords synthetically useful functionalized allylzinc reagents, which can be protonated or react with various electrophiles such as carbonyl compounds and acetonitrile.
Y. Yoshida, K. Murakami, H. Yorimitsu, K. Oshima, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 8878-8879.


A regioselective intermolecular hydroacylation of vinalarenes, in which symmetric and mixed carboxylic anhydrides are used as acyl donors, is promoted by a cationic rhodium catalyst ligated by triphenylarsine.
Y.-T. Hong, A. Barchuk, M. J. Krische, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2006, 45, 6885-6888.


A regioselective intermolecular hydroacylation of vinalarenes, in which symmetric and mixed carboxylic anhydrides are used as acyl donors, is promoted by a cationic rhodium catalyst ligated by triphenylarsine.
Y.-T. Hong, A. Barchuk, M. J. Krische, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2006, 45, 6885-6888.


Rhodium (I) bis-olefin complexes catalyzes the addition of electron-rich aromatic aldehydes to olefins to form ketones. Use of a more electron-deficient Rhodium catalyst results in faster reaction rates, better selectivity for linear ketone products and broader reaction scope.
A. H. Roy, C. P. Lenges, M. Brookhart, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 2082-2093.


An operationally simple and mild visible-light, single-electron-transfer (SET), photoredox cross-coupling enables the synthesis of α-alkoxyketones in high yields from various aliphatic and aromatic acyl chlorides and structurally diverse potassium alkoxymethyltrifluoroborates. The bond connection is unique to both alkylboron chemistry and photoredox/Ni catalysis.
J. Amani, E. Sodagar, G. A. Molander, Org. Lett., 2016, 18, 732-735.


A short, mild, and highly chemoselective addition of organolithium reagents to BF2 complexes of 3-oxopropanoates allows a straightforward preparation 1,3-diketones.
B. Štefane, Org. Lett., 2010, 12, 2900-2903.


The addition of (pentafluoroethyl)- and (heptafluoropropyl)lithium to Weinreb and morpholine amides led to polyfluoro ketones in high to quantitative yields in short reaction times. The methodology can provide inhibitors for various lipolytic enzymes, including phospholipase A2.
C. G. Kokotos, C. Baskakis, G. Kokotos, J. Org. Chem., 2008, 73, 8623-2626.


A cationic rhodium(I)/dppb complex catalyzed direct intermolecular hydroacylation of N,N-dialkylacrylamides with both aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes represents a versatile route to γ-ketoamides in view of high atom economy and commercial availability of substrates.
K. Tanaka, Y. Shibata, T. Suda, Y. Hagiwara, M. Hirano, Org. Lett., 2007, 9, 1215-1218.


A cationic rhodium(I)/(R,R)-QuinoxP* complex catalyzes a highly enantioselective direct intermolecular hydroacylation of α-substituted acrylamides with unfunctionalized aliphatic aldehydes to yield the corresponding γ-ketoamides in high yields with excellent ee values.
Y. Shibata, K. Tanaka, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 12552-12553.


Weinreb amides are efficiently converted into ketones by reaction with alkylidenetriphenylphosphoranes and in situ hydrolysis of the intermediate.
J. A. Murphy, A. G. J. Commeureuc, T. N. Snaddon, T. M. McGuire, T. A. Khan, K. Hisler, M. L. Dewis, R. Carling, Org. Lett., 2005, 7, 945-947.


While 3,4;5,6-di-O-isopropylidene-N-phthaloyl-D-glucosamine propane-1,3-diyl dithioacetal underwent fast β-elimination, the corresponding N-acetyl derivative was easily deprotonated with butyllithium to form the dilithiated intermediate. Stoichiometry and temperature were crucial factors for selective C-C coupling with various electrophiles.
Y.-L. Chen, R. Leguijt, H. Redlich, R. Fröhlich, Synthesis, 2006, 4212-4218.


1-Siloxy-1-alkenylcopper species were generated by 1,2-Csp2-to-O silyl migration of the copper enolates of acyltriphenylsilanes. The alkenylcopper species reacted with methyl, benzyl, allylic, tributylstannyl halides and in the presence of Pd(0) catalyst with aryl and alkenyl iodides to give geometrically pure (Z)-enol silyl ethers.
A. Tsubouchi, K. Onishi, T. Takeda, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 14268-14269.


α-Halonitriles react with alkyllithium, organomagnesium, and lithium dimethylcuprate reagents generating reactive, metalated nitriles. The rapid halogen-metal exchange with alkyllithium and Grignard reagents allows Barbier-type reactions with various electrophiles.
F. F. Fleming, Z. Zhang, W. Liu, P. Knochel, J. Org. Chem., 2005, 70, 2200-2005.


A green, practical, convenient, and cheap copper-catalyzed oxidative coupling of aromatic alcohols and acetonitrile to β-ketonitriles involves a C-C coupling with loss of two hydrogen atoms from the corresponding two carbons, using oxygen as the terminal oxidant.
J. Shen, D. Yang, Y. Liu, S. Qin, J. Zhang, J. Sun, C. Liu, C. Liu, X. Zhao, C. Chu, R. Liu, Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 350-353.


The conversion of primary nitroalkanes into the corresponding α-nitro ketones readily proceeds using N-acylbenzotriazoles as acylation agents.
A. R. Katritzky, A. A. A. Abdel-Fattah, A. V. Gromova, R. Witek, P. J. Steel, J. Org. Chem., 2005, 70, 9211-9214.


A TiCl4-Mg promoted coupling of various amides with CH2Cl2 and methyl acrylate allows an extremely simple and practical synthesis of 1,5-keto esters. The efficiency of this chemistry is illustrated by the very simple preparation of unusual 4,4-dideuterio-1,5-keto esters using CD2Cl2.
K.-W. Lin, C. Y. Chen, W.-F. Chen, T.-H. Yan, J. Org. Chem., 2008, 73, 4759-4761.


Various oxo acid derivatives were obtained directly from the reaction of aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes with ω-alkenoic acid derivatives in the presence of rhodium(I) complexes and 2-amino-3-picoline.
E.-A. Jo, C.-H. Jun, Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2006, 2504-2507.


Under the synergistic actions of photocatalyst Ru(bpy)3Cl2, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, cesium carbonate, and visible light irradiation, a range of styrenes and benzaldehydes smoothly form α,β-epoxy ketones via visible-light-enabled photocatalytic generation of acyl radicals as key intermediates.
J. Li, D. Z. Wang, Org. Lett., 2015, 17, 5260-5263.


Catalytic amounts of weak bases such as sodium carbonate can carry out the ketonic decarboxylation of adipic acid into cyclopentanone selectively. This is in accordance with a mechanism involving decarboxylation and nucleophilic attack at a second carboxyl group. Stereogenic centres in the β-positions retain their stereochemistry.
M. Renz, A. Corma, Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2004, 2036-2039.


tert-Dodecanthiol-catalyzed generation of acyl radicals and their intramolecular addition to double bonds gave 2-substituted five- and six-membered cyclic ketones in good yields.
K. Yoshikai, T. Hayama, K. Nishimura, K.-I. Yamada, K. Tomioka, J. Org. Chem., 2005, 70, 681-683.


A highly enantio- and diastereoselective intramolecular Stetter reaction has been developed. Aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes and a broad range of trisubstituted Michael acceptors have been found to afford the desired products in good overall yield with high enantio- and diastereoselectivity.
J. Read de Alaniz, T. Rovis, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 6284-6289.


A mild, high-yielding and general procedure for the preparation of β-ketophosphonates by condensation of esters and phosphonates provides products in high yields within minutes at 0°C. The reaction procedure is operationally simple and amenable to large-scale preparations.
K. M. Maloney, J. Y. L. Chung, J. Org. Chem., 2009, 74, 7574-7576.