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Copper(II)-Chloride Catalyzed ‘Carbene Dimerization’ of 1-Halogeno-1-lithiocyclopropanes: A Simple Access to Bi(cyclopropylidenes)

A series of 13 bi(cyclopropylidenes) 11 are prepared in a simple one-pot reaction by halogeno-lithio exchange between 1,1-dibromocyclopropanes 1an and BuLi, in most cases at −95°, to give 1-bromo-1-lithiocyclopropanes 2an, followed by treatment with CuCl2 at low temperature and a simple workup at room temperature (Scheme 3c and Table 1). The yields of bi(cyclopropylidenes) 11 strongly depend on reaction parameters, as explicitly shown for the conversion 1f [RIGHTWARDS ARROW][RIGHTWARDS ARROW] 11f (Tables 2–8). Mixed couplings between two different carbenoids are possible (Scheme 4), while diastereoselectivity of the active transition-metal complex seems to be low. The structures of bi(cyclopropylidenes) 11 are confirmed by spectroscopic data as well as by X-ray analysis of an isolated crystalline diastereoisomer of 11k (Fig. 1).