Multi-Pathway Consequent Chemoselectivities of CpRuCl(PPh3 )2 /MeI-Catalysed Norbornadiene Alkyne Cycloadditions.
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Chemoselectivities of five experimentally realised CpRuCl(PPh3 )2 /MeI-catalysed couplings of 7-azabenzo-norbornadienes with selected alkynes were successfully resolved from multiple reaction pathway models. Density functional theory calculations showed the following mechanistic succession to be energetically plausible: (1) CpRuI catalyst activation; (2) formation of crucial metallacyclopentene intermediate; (3) cyclobutene product (P2) elimination (ΔGRel(RDS) ≈11.9-17.6 kcal mol(-1) ). Alternative formation of dihydrobenzoindole products (P1) by isomerisation to azametalla-cyclohexene followed by subsequent CpRuI release was much less favourable (ΔGRel(RDS) ≈26.5-29.8 kcal mol(-1) ). Emergent stereoselectivities were in close agreement with experimental results for reactions a, b, e. Consequent investigations employing dispersion corrections similarly support the empirical findings of P1 dominating in reactions c and d through P2→P1 product transformations as being probable (ΔG≈25.3-30.1 kcal mol(-1) ).