A Pyrazole to Furan Rearrangement. Thermolysis of 5-Azido-4-formylpyrazoles.

Niels Svenstrup, Klaus B. Simonsen, Niels Thorup, Jørgen Brodersen, Wim Dehaen, Jan Becher

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5-Azido-3-benzyl-4-formyl-1-phenylpyrazoles 1a-c extrude dinitrogen upon heating in toluene to give the corresponding nitrenes, which immediately rearrange via a new ring-opening ring-closure reaction to produce an equimolar mixture of 4-cyano-2-phenyl-3-phenylazofurans 2a-c and 3-benzyl-4-cyano-1-phenylpyrazoles 3a-c. The formation of the 4-cyano-2-phenyl-3- phenylazofurans 2a-c is the first example in the pyrazole series of a nitrene rearrangement, in which the parent heterocyclic system of the product differs from that of the starting material. The isolation of equimolar amounts of the two products points to the fact that their formation occurs by two mechanistically interconnected pathways, between which the exchange of a redox equivalent takes place. Evidence for the existence of two mechanistically interlinked pathways is presented, and the insight into the stoechiometry of the reaction is taken advantage of to optimize the reaction with respect to either of the two products 2 og 3. Thus, it is demonstrated how one can bias the two pathways using external regents, thereby changing the product distribution ration 2:3 from 1:1 in the unbiased case, to 1:4 in one direction, and to better than 20:1 in the other direction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Pages (from-to)2814-2820
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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