Conformational preference in aromatic amides bearing chiral ortho substituents: its origin and application to relayed stereocontrol.
Betson MS., Clayden J., Helliwell M., Johnson P., Lai LW., Pink JH., Stimson CC., Vassiliou N., Westlund N., Yasin SA., Youssef LH.
Tertiary aromatic amides bearing stereogenic centres ortho to the amide group may adopt two diastereoisomeric conformations which interconvert slowly on the NMR timescale at ambient temperature, and are therefore detectable by NMR. Certain classes of stereogenic centre--particularly sulfoxides, ephedrine-derived oxazolidines, and proline-derived imidazolidines--strongly bias the population of the two conformers. We propose a model, supported by molecular mechanics calculations, which rationalises the sense and magnitude of the conformational selectivity attained in terms of the steric and electronic properties of the controlling centre. The control over conformation may be exploited either by trapping the favoured conformer as an atropisomer, or by using it to relay information about the stereochemistry of the controlling centre.