Bifluoride Ion Mediated SuFEx Trifluoromethylation of Sulfonyl Fluorides and Iminosulfur Oxydifluorides

Angewandte Chemie
Christopher J SmedleyJohn E Moses


SuFEx is a new-generation click chemistry transformation that exploits the unique properties of S-F bonds and their ability to undergo near-perfect reactions with nucleophiles. We report here the first SuFEx-based procedure for the efficient synthesis of pharmaceutically important triflones and bis(trifluoromethyl)sulfur oxyimines from sulfonyl fluorides and iminosulfur oxydifluorides, respectively. The new process involves rapid S-F exchange with trifluoromethyltrimethylsilane (TMSCF3 ) upon activation by potassium bifluoride in anhydrous DMSO. The reaction tolerates a wide selection of substrates and proceeds under mild conditions without need for chromatographic purification. A tentative mechanism is proposed involving nucleophilic displacement of S-F by the trifluoromethyl anion via a five-coordinate intermediate. The utility of late-stage SuFEx trifluoromethylation is demonstrated through the synthesis and selective anticancer properties of a bis(trifluoromethyl)sulfur oxyimine.


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