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    Pd-catalysed Stille and Suzuki cross-couplings were used to prepare 9-(3-indenyl)-, 6, and 9-(2-indenyl)-anthracene, 7; addition of benzyne led to the 9-Indenyl-triptycenes, 8 and 9. In 6, [4 + 2] addition also occurred to the indenyl substituent. Reaction of 6 through 9 with Cr(CO)6 or Re2(CO)10 gave their M(CO)3 derivatives, where the Cr or Re was complexed to a six- or five-membered ring, respectively. In the 9-(2-indenyl)triptycene complexes, slowed rotation of the paddlewheel on the NMR time-scale was apparent in the η5-Re(CO)3 case and, when the η6-Cr(CO)3 was deprotonated, the resulting haptotropic shift of the metal tripod onto the five-membered ring also blocked paddlewheel rotation, thus functioning as an organometallic molecular brake. Suzuki coupling of ferrocenylboronic acid to mono- or dibromoanthracene yielded the ferrocenyl anthracenes en route to the corresponding triptycenes in which stepwise hindered rotations of the ferrocenyl groups behaved like molecular dials. CuCl2-mediated coupling of methyl- and phenyl-indenes yielded their rac and meso 2,2'-biindenyls; surprisingly, however, the apparently sterically crowded rac 2,2'-Bis(9-triptycyl)biindenyl functioned as a freely rotating set of molecular gears. The predicted high rotation barrier in 9-phenylanthracene was experimentally validated via the Pd-catalysed syntheses of di(3-fluorophenyl)anthracene and 9-(1-naphthyl)-10-phenylanthracene.


    Michael J McGlinchey, Kirill Nikitin. Palladium-Catalysed Coupling Reactions En Route to Molecular Machines: Sterically Hindered Indenyl and Ferrocenyl Anthracenes and Triptycenes, and Biindenyls. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Apr 22;25(8)

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    PMID: 32331469

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