Synlett 2015; 26(10): 1422-1423
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1380501
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,4-Nonafluorobutane-1-sulfonyl fluoride (NfF)

Timon Kurzawa
Institut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin, Takustr. 3, 14195 Berlin, Germany   Email:
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Publication History

Publication Date:
27 May 2015 (online)


1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,4-Nonafluorobutane-1-sulfonyl fluoride (NfF) is a versatile compound in organic synthesis. It can be used as a fluoride source for the nucleophilic introduction of fluorine,[1] but it is also frequently applied as sulfonylation reagent generating intermediates with strong electron-withdrawing perfluorinated alkyl substituents.[2]

NfF is produced on industrial scale by anodic fluorination of sulfolene (1, Scheme [1]),[3] therefore it is a fairly cheap reagent and commercially available from several suppliers. The compound is bench-stable and storable for years, non-toxic and easy to handle.

Zoom Image
Scheme 1 Synthesis of NfF by anodic fluorination of sulfolene (1)

Table 1 Use of 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,4-Nonafluorobutane-1-sulfonyl fluoride (NfF)

(A) NfF can be used as a convenient fluoride source for the nucleo­philic introduction of fluorine via the corresponding O-nonaflate as demonstrated by Vorbrüggen.[4] The application of this method on industrial scale was demonstrated for the synthesis of iodenosine by Takamatsu et al.[5]

(B) NfF is also a common sulfonylating agent that allows the conversion of carbonyl compounds 2, their corresponding trimethylsilyl enol ethers or phenol derivatives 3 into nonaflates.[6] These alkenyl and aryl nonaflates are efficient precursors for all kinds of cross-coupling reactions, in which they often show a better reactivity and a superior stability during transformations than the related tosylates or triflates.[7]

(C) The elimination of in situ formed alkenyl nonaflates derived from aldehydes or ketones in the presence of P-base gives terminal alkyne intermediates 4, as reported by Lyapkalo and Vogel in their one-pot synthesis of enynes 5.[8] This synthetically useful method was later successfully applied by Huwyler and Carreira in their total synthesis of the chlorinated sesquiterpene (±)-gomerone C,[9] or by Nicolaou et al. for the preparation of the cytotoxic polyketides myceliothermophins E, C and D.[10]

(D) Furthermore, NfF is also a powerful reagent in numerous nucleophilic displacement reactions under very mild reaction conditions. The intermediate nonaflates undergo intramolecular substitutions leading to useful compounds such as epoxides 6 (X = O),[11] aziridines 6 (X = NTs) or thiazolines 7.[12]

(E) Another interesting application of NfF involves its reaction with sodium azide, smoothly forming nonafluorobutane sulfonyl azide 8.[13] This azide is a stable liquid at room temperature and therefore easier and safer to handle than the corresponding trifluoromethane sulfonyl azide. The compound was used for Cu(II)-catalyzed diazo transfer reactions furnishing organic azides (R = alkyl or aryl).[14]

  • References

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