Remarkably large remote-stereocenter-induced chromatographic differences: Azulenyl 1,5-diols


A series of four new azulene-1,5-diol diastereomers were prepared and found to exhibit large differences (ΔRf 0.22-0.46) in silica TLC mobilities despite having stereocenters four bonds apart. The stereoisomers were identified by X-ray crystallography, and in all cases the RR/SS diastereomers were less strongly retained than the RS/SR diastereomers. The crystal structures suggested that this is due to a conformational preference for the CF 3 groups to be nearly perpendicular to the plane of the azulene ring, which caused the dihedral angle between the OH groups to be larger (in the RR/SS diastereomers) or smaller (in the RS/SR diastereomers). The smaller dihedral angles allow the RS/SR diastereomers to simultaneously bind to a silica surface and thus be more strongly retained. Two similar benzene derivatives and several cycloalkanediols with more proximate stereocenters showed little or no difference in mobilities between diastereomers, though the NMR differences were greater. Thus, the azulene ring is an important factor in enforcing the conformational preferences, either through steric interactions with the 4/8 substituents (H or methyl) or its significant dipole moment, or both. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Tetrahedron Letters