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The role of aryne distortions, steric effects, and charges in regioselectivities of aryne reactions.

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The distortion/interaction model has been used to explain and predict reactivity in a variety of reactions where more common explanations, such as steric and electronic factors, do not suffice. This model has also provided new fundamental insight into regioselectivity trends in reactions of unsymmetrical arynes, which in turn has fueled advances in aryne methodology and natural product synthesis. This article describes a systematic experimental and computational study of one particularly important class of arynes, 3-halobenzynes. 3-Halobenzynes are useful synthetic building blocks whose regioselectivities have been explained by several different models over the past few decades. Our efforts show that aryne distortion, rather than steric factors or charge distribution, are responsible for the regioselectivities observed in 3-haloaryne trapping experiments. We also demonstrate the synthetic utility of 3-halobenzynes for the efficient synthesis of functionalized heterocycles, using a tandem aryne-trapping/cross-coupling sequence involving 3-chlorobenzyne.

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