Theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted to elucidate the mechanism of the formal nucleophilic boryl substitution of aryl and alkyl bromides with silylborane in the presence of potassium methoxide. Density functional theory was used in conjunction with the artificial force induced reaction method in the current study to determine the mechanism of this reaction. The results of this analysis led to the identification of a unique carbanion-mediated mechanism involving the halogenophilic attack of a silyl nucleophile on the bromine atom of the substrate. These calculations have, therefore, provided a mechanistic rationale for this counterintuitive borylation reaction. Furthermore, the good functional group compatibility and high reactivity exhibited by this reaction toward sterically hindered substrates can be understood in terms of the low activation energy required for the reaction of the silyl nucleophile with the bromine atom of the substrate and the subsequent rapid and selective consumption of the carbanion species by the in situ generated boron electrophile. The results of an experimental study involving the capture of the anion intermediate provided further evidence in support of the generation of a carbanion species during the course of this reaction. The anomalous formal nucleophilic borylation mechanism reported in this study could be used to provide new insights into silicon and boron chemistry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry