J.M. Winne

Design of a thermally controlled sequence of triazolinedione-based click and transclick reactions

H.A. Houck, K. De Bruycker, S. Billiet, B. Dhanis, H. Goossens, S. Catak, V. Van Speybroeck, J.M. Winne, F. Du Prez
Chemical Science
8 (4), 3098-3108


The reaction of triazolinediones (TADs) and indoles is of particular interest for polymer chemistry applications, as it is a very fast and irreversible additive-free process at room temperature, but can be turned into a dynamic covalent bond forming process at elevated temperatures, giving a reliable bond exchange or ‘transclick’ reaction. In this paper, we report an in-depth study aimed at controlling the TAD – indole reversible click reactions through rational design of modified indole reaction partners. This has resulted in the identification of a novel class of easily accessible indole derivatives that give dynamic TAD-adduct formation at significantly lower temperatures. We further demonstrate that these new substrates can be used to design a directed cascade of click reactions of a functionalized TAD moiety from an initial indole reaction partner to a second indole, and finally to an irreversible reaction partner. This controlled sequence of click and transclick reactions of a single TAD reagent between three different substrates has been demonstrated both on small molecule and macromolecular level, and the factors that control the reversibility profiles have been rationalized and guided by mechanistic considerations supported by theoretical calculations.

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On the Possibility of [1,5] Sigmatropic Shifts in Bicyclo[4.2.0]octa-2,4-dienes

H. Goossens, J.M. Winne, S. Wouters, L. Hermosilla, P. J. De Clercq, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, S. Catak
Journal of Organic Chemistry
80 (5) 2609-2620


The thermal equilibration of the methyl esters of endiandric acids D and E was subject to a computational study. An electrocyclic pathway via an electrocyclic ring opening followed by a ring flip and a subsequent electrocyclization proposed by Nicolaou [Chem. Soc. Rev. 2009], was computationally explored. The free energy barrier for this electrocyclic route was shown to be very close to the bicyclo[4.2.0]octa-2,4-diene reported by Huisgen [Tet. Lett. 1968]. Furthermore, the possibility of a [1,5] sigmatropic alkyl group shift of bicyclo[4.2.0]octa-2,4-diene systems at high temperatures was explored in a combined computational and experimental study. Calculated reaction barriers for a biradical-mediated stepwise [1,5] sigmatropic alkyl group shift were shown to be comparable with the reaction barriers for the bicyclo[4.1.0]hepta-2,4-diene (norcaradiene) walk rearrangement, whereas calculated reaction barriers for a concerted [1,5] sigmatropic alkyl group shift were found to be higher in energy. However, the stepwise pathway is suggested to only be feasible for appropriately substituted compounds. Experiments conducted on a deuterated analogous diol derivative confirmed the calculated (large) differences in barriers between electrocyclic and sigmatropic pathways.

Scope and Mechanism of the (4+3) Cycloaddition Reaction of Furfuryl Cations

J.M. Winne, S. Catak, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Angewandte Chemie int. Ed.
50 (50) 11990–11993


Furfuryl alcohols are revealed as direct reaction partners for a wide range of conjugated dienes in a (4+3) cycloaddition motif (see scheme). This novel Lewis-acid-promoted process gives straightforward access to various polycyclic skeletons containing a seven-membered ring. A plausible cationic stepwise mechanism was confirmed by DFT calculations.

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