In the presence of catalytic amounts of RhH(PPh3)4, 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane (dppe), and dimethyl disulfide, ketones without α-activating groups were α-methylthiolated with 1,2-diphenyl-2-methylthio-1-ethanone giving α-methylthio ketones. The reaction of unsymmetrical ketones proceeded at the more substituted carbons. The initial formation of kinetic α-methylthiolated products followed by their rearrangement to thermodynamic products was observed in the reaction of α-phenyl ketones. Aldehydes, phenylacetate, and phenylacetonitrile were also α-methylthiolated under these conditions.
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