A Pd(OAc)2/xantphos catalyst system was found effective for benzylaminations of binaphthyl 2-triflates bearing a variety of alkyl, benzyl, and substituted phenyl substituents at the 2′-position. With 2′-aryl substituents, an intramolecular Pd-catalyzed C-H arylation was observed as a competing side reaction under some conditions. By adjusting the solvent and quantity of the amine, the reaction was optimized to favor either the amination or the C-H arylation pathway, affording two distinct and potentially useful sets of products. The amines represent tunable chiral ligand precursors, while the C-H arylation pathway affords a series of benzofused helicene derivatives. Kinetic studies and activation parameters for the C-H arylation pathway, supported by DFT calculations, are consistent with a concerted metalation-deprotonation (CMD) mechanism involving a Pd-bound carbonate as the base. Xantphos is proposed to facilitate the turnover-limiting inner-sphere CMD step by acting as a hemilabile ligand, while its wide bite angle engenders a low reductive elimination barrier.
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© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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