Mechanistic Duality in Tertiary Amine Additions to Thermally Generated Hexadehydro-Diels–Alder Benzynes

Ross, S. P.; Baire, B.; Hoye, T. R. Org. Lett. 201719, 5705–5708.

Reported here are studies directed at understanding the mechanism of tertiary amine addition to hexadehydro-Diels–Alder (HDDA)-generated benzynes. Tertiary amines are presumed to engage benzynes by generation of a zwitterionic intermediate. Simple trialkylamines undergo intermolecular protonation by a protic nucleophile to give an aryl ammonium intermediate that is then dealkylated. Amines containing acidified β-protons undergo an intramolecular elimination to give the aniline and an alkene. Finally, amino alcohols react at either of their N- or O atoms, depending upon the extent of internal hydrogen bonding.