Catalysis Letters

, Volume 42, Issue 1–2, pp 5–13 | Cite as

Solid acid (superacid) catalyzed regioselective adamantylation of substituted benzenes

  • George A. Olah
  • Béla Török
  • Tatyana Shamma
  • Marianna Török
  • G. K. Surya Prakash


Adamantylation of substituted benzenes with 1-bromo-adamantane was catalyzed by solid acids including acidic ion exchange and ionomer resins, HY zeolite, sulfated zirconia and supported superacids on HY zeolite and SiO2. Adamantylation generally takes place in excellent yield giving predominantly para products without formation of byproducts. The reactions did not require the usual workup of Friedel-Crafts reactions as catalysts were simply filtered of. Cross-linked polystyrene resin sulfonic acid (Amberlyst) was found particularly suitable as besides its high catalytic activity, high regioselectivity was observed with almost exclusive formation ofp-adamantylated benzenes. AMI, PM3 and MNDO semiempirical calculations of heats of formation showed that of all regioisomers, the para isomer is the most stable. The temperature dependence of adamantylation was also investigated allowing the optimization ofp-substituted product in high yield and excellent selectivity. Lack of isomerization of 1-p-tolyla-damantane using solid (Amberlyst, Nafion-H) and liquid acids (neat and modified trifluoromethanesulfonic acid) indicates absence of product isomerization, while the intramolecular rearrangement of the intermediate arenium complex is still possible.


regioselective adamantylation solid acid catalysis highp-selectivity positional protection 


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Copyright information

© J.C. Baltzer AG, Science Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • George A. Olah
    • 1
  • Béla Török
    • 1
  • Tatyana Shamma
    • 1
  • Marianna Török
    • 1
  • G. K. Surya Prakash
    • 1
  1. 1.Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of ChemistryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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