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Pure Appl. Chem., 2006, Vol. 78, No. 2, pp. 415-423

Torque control by metal-orbital interactions

Masahiro Murakami, Yasufumi Miyamoto, Munehiro Hasegawa, Ippei Usui and Takanori Matsuda

Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Kyoto University, Katsura, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan

Abstract: The silyl substituent of 3-silylcyclobutene prefers inward rotation rather than outward rotation during a thermal ring-opening reaction, giving the Z-isomer predominantly. This intriguing behavior was explained by assuming electron-accepting interactions between the low-lying σ*-orbital of the silicon-carbon linkage and the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of the opening cyclobutene system, which are possible only in the inward transition state. On the basis of this finding, a novel method for the stereoselective synthesis of functionalized 1,3-butadiene derivatives from cyclobutenones was developed. Boryl substituents exhibit even stronger preference for inward rotation than silyl substituents as a result of electron delocalization from the cyclobutene HOMO into the vacant p-orbital of boron at the inward transition state.