Methylenespiro[2.3]hexanes via Nickel-Catalyzed Cyclopropanations with [1.1.1]Propellane

Songjie Yu, Adam Noble, Robin B. Bedford*, Varinder K. Aggarwal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
221 Downloads (Pure)


[1.1.1]Propellane is a highly strained tricyclic hydrocarbon whose reactivity is dominated by addition reactions across the central inverted bond to provide bicyclo[1.1.1]pentane derivatives. These reactions proceed under both radical and two-electron pathways, hence providing access to a diverse array of products. Conversely, transition metal-catalyzed reactions of [1.1.1]propellane are underdeveloped and lack synthetic utility, with reported examples generally yielding mixtures of ring-opened structural isomers, dimers, and trimers, often with poor selectivity. Herein, we report that nickel(0) catalysis enables the use of [1.1.1]propellane as a carbene precursor in cyclopropanations of a range of functionalized alkenes to give methylenespiro[2.3]hexane products. Computational studies provide support for initial formation of a Ni(0)-[1.1.1]propellane complex followed by concerted double C-C bond activation to give the key 3-methylenecyclobutylidene-nickel intermediate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Pages (from-to)20325-20334
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number51
Early online date30 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2019


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