In this article we report a comprehensive density functional theory study on the Pd-catalyzed intermolecular asymmetric allylic dearomatization reactions of multisubstituted pyrroles. The calculated results are in line with the previous experimental observations (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 6590), and the remarkable regio- and enantioselectivity are well explained. Of all the potential nudeophilic sites around the multisubstituted pyrrole ring, the reaction always occurs at the position where the HOMO of the molecule distributes most significantly. In contrast to the common view on the enantioselectivity of the Pd-catalyzed asymmetric allylic substitution reactions, we find that the steric interaction between the nucleophile and the chiral ligand does not have the dominating effect on the enantioselectivity of the reaction. Instead, the interaction between the allyl moiety and the incoming nucleophile plays an important role in the enantioselectivity-determining process.
Zheng C,Zhuo CX,You SL. Mechanistic Insights into the Pd-Catalyzed Intermolecular Asymmetric Allylic Dearomatization of Multisubstituted Pyrroles: Understanding the Remarkable Regio- and Enantioselectivity[J]. J. Am. Chem. Soc.,2014,136(46):16251-16259.