Divergent Reactivity during the Trapping of Benzynes by Glycidol Analogs: Ring Cleavage via Pinacol-Like Rearrangements vs Oxirane Fragmentations

Zhang, J.; Hoye, T. R. Org. Lett. 201921, 2615–2619. 

Hydroxy-containing cyclic ethers react with thermally generated benzynes to produce aryl ethers. Diverse reactivity was observed. Cleavage of the cyclic ether was involved in most of the pathways. The transformations are rationalized via initial formation of oxonium ion-containing 1,3-zwitterions arising from preferential nucleophilic attack on the benzyne by the ether oxygen. Pinacol-like rearrangements, including ring expansion, to yield aldehydes or ketones and oxirane fragmentations to generate aryl enol ethers were main competing events.