J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 4879-7886.
Several classes of enantioselective silylations of C-H bonds have been reported recently, but little mechanistic data on these processes are available. We report mechanistic studies on the rhodium-catalyzed, enantioselective silylation of aryl C-H bonds. A rhodium silyl dihydride and a rhodium norbornyl complex were prepared and determined to be interconverting catalyst resting states. Kinetic isotope effects indicated that the C-H bond cleavage step is not rate-determining, but the C-H bond cleavage and C-Si bond-forming steps together infl uence the enantioselectivity. DFT calculations indicate that the enantioselectivity originates from unfavorable steric interactions between the substrate and the ligand in the transition state leading to the formation of the minor enantiomer.