© 2014 American Chemical Society. A novel reaction involving benzoxazole, ethyl diazoacetate, and water has been discovered, with TpBr3Cu(NCMe) (TpBr3 = hydrotris(3,4,5-tribromopyrazolyl)borate) as the catalyst. The fused azoles are converted into highly functionalized substituted benzenes bearing aldehyde, amine carboxylate and hydroxyl groups. The protocol has been applied for a series of benzoxazoles with several diazo compounds. Experimental data and theoretical calculations have led to a mechanistic proposal that includes carbene addition, ylide formation, and water addition to the latter, all those steps being catalyzed by the copper center.
- benzoxazole functionalization
- benzoxazole ring opening
- carbene transfer
- copper catalysis
- ethyl diazoacetate