In the presence of catalytic amounts of RhH(PPh 3) 4 and 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane (dppe), 1-nitroalkanes reacted with a diaryl disulfide giving 1-arylthio-1-nitroalkanes in air. The equilibrium to form thermodynamically disfavored products was shifted by the rhodium-catalyzed oxidation of thiols to disulfides and water. The thiolation reaction of cyclic nitroalkanes proceeded in high yields provided that suitable diaryl disulfides were employed depending on the substrate: di(p-chlorophenyl) disulfide was used for the thiolation reaction of 1-nitroalkanes, 1-nitrocyclopentane and 1-nitrocycloheptane with acidic α-protons (pK a 16 and 17); di(p-methoxyphenyl) disulfide for 1-nitrocyclobutane and 1-nitrocyclohexane with less acidic α-protons (pK a ca. 18). Related reactivities were observed in the thiolation reactions of malonate and 1,2-diphenylethanone.
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