Rhodium-Catalyzed Synthesis of Chiral Spiro-9-silabifluorenes by Dehydrogenative Silylation: Mechanistic Insights into the Construction of Tetraorganosilicon Stereocenters

Masahito Murai, Yutaro Takeuchi, Kanae Yamauchi, Yoichiro Kuninobu, Kazuhiko Takai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanistic insight into the construction of quaternary silicon chiral centers by rhodium-catalyzed synthesis of spiro-9-silabifluorenes through dehydrogenative silylation is reported. The C2-symmetric bisphosphine ligand, BINAP, was effective in controlling enantioselectivity, and axially chiral spiro-9-silabifluorenes were obtained in excellent yields with high enantiomeric excess. Monitoring of the reaction revealed the presence of a monohydrosilane intermediate as a mixture of two constitutional isomers. The reaction proceeded through two consecutive dehydrogenative silylations, and the absolute configuration was determined in the first silylative cyclization. Competitive reactions with electron-rich and electron-deficient dihydrosilanes indicated that the rate of silylative cyclization increased with decreasing electron density on the silicon atom of the starting dihydrosilane. Further investigation disclosed a rare interconversion between the two constitutional isomers of the monohydrosilane intermediate with retention of the absolute configuration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Asymmetric catalysis
  • C-H activation
  • Rhodium
  • Silicon
  • Spiro compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this