Lithium α-sulfinyl carbanion of 1-chloroethyl p-tolyl sulfoxide was reacted with 2-substituted cyclohexanones to afford adducts in good yields. The adducts were treated with LDA or t-BuMgCl to give lithium or magnesium alkoxides, which were treated with t-BuLi or i-PrMgCl to afford one-carbon ring-expanded 2,7-disubstituted cycloheptanones through β-oxido carbenoids. Interestingly, 2,3-disubstituted cycloheptanones were obtained in a trace amount or were not obtained at all. The enolate intermediates of this reaction were found to be able to get trapped with electrophiles to give 2,2,7-trisubstituted cycloheptanones in moderate to good yields. This method is very useful for the synthesis of 2,7-disubstituted cycloheptanones and 2,2,7-trisubstituted cycloheptanones from 2-substituted cyclohexanones in only two steps.
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