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Tri-n-butyltin hydride is used as a radical reagent in reductive cleavage, radical dehalogenation and intramolecular radical cyclization. It also promotes intramolecular cyclization leading to isoxazolo-benzaulene ring system. Further, it acts as a reducing agent for the conversion of alkyl halides to hydrocarbons. In addition to this, it is used in a veterinary anthelmintic for poultry and an intermediate to make other butyltin compounds.
Reducing agent and source of tributyltin radicals. Widely used for selective reduction of alkyl halides to alkanes by a radical chain mechanism. The reaction is tolerant of a wide range of functionality, including OH and NH, in contrast to polar metal hydride reagents. For reviews, see: Synthesis, 499 (1970); 665 (1987). For a brief feature on uses of this reagent in synthesis, see: Synlett, 173 (2007). For use in the synthesis of deoxy sugars via reductive rearrangement of glycosyl bromides, see: Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 583 (1993). Cyclization of the initially-formed alkyl radical to a suitably positioned double bond may occur. Formation of 5-membered rings is strongly favoured, and ring closure onto an existing ring gives the cis-fused product. See, e.g.: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 108, 5893 (1986):
Intermolecular coupling with electron-deficient alkenes is also effective: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 23, 69 (1984); Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 148 (1993). Review: Synthesis, 417 (1988).
Secondary alcohols can be deoxygenated by reduction of their xanthate derivatives: J. Chem. Soc., Perkin 1, 1574 (1975); Org. Synth. Coll., 7, 139 (1990), avoiding the rearrangements encountered with carbocation-based methods.
TBTH also cleaves other C-heteroatom bonds, controlled by the stability of the resulting radical: Nitro-groups at tertiary centers are readily cleaved: Synthesis, 693 (1986). Azides are readily reduced to amines: Synlett, 342 (1991). C-S and C-Se bonds are also cleaved. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 104, 2046 (1982); 112, 4008 (1990); J. Org. Chem., 49, 5206 (1984); 54, 1234 (1989).
Free-radical hydrostannylation of alkenes occurs with TBTH to give alkylstannanes. The reaction is catalyzed by, e.g. Rh complexes: Chem. Lett., 881 (1988), or Pd complexes: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 35, 1329 (1996), and refs therein. Syn-addition to alkynes gives vinylstannanes, useful intermediates which undergo electrophilic substitution reactions with retention of configuration. Thus, iodine, NIS and NBS give vinyl halides: J. Org. Chem., 47, 404 (1982); Tetrahedron, 42, 3575 (1986), and alkyllithium compounds exchange to give vinyllithiums: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 99, 7365 (1977). Intramolecular reaction with a double bond has been used in cyclization reactions: Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 381 (1993):
Dialdehydes and keto aldehydes undergo free-radical intramolecular pinacol coupling to give cyclic diols: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 117, 7283 (1995); J. Org. Chem., 63, 6357 (1998).
Arylstannanes have been produced by Pd-catalyzed coupling with aryl iodides: Synlett, 1064 (2000).
For generation and use of tributylstannyllithium, see: Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 562 (1993). Hydroxymethylation of TBTH occurs with LDA and paraformaldehyde. Subsequent reaction with dimethoxymethane gives the hydroxymethyl anion equivalent tributyl[(methoxymethoxy)methyl]stannane: Org. Synth. Coll., 9, 493, 704 (1998).
Zhang, B.; Studer, A. Recent advances in the synthesis of nitrogen heterocycles via radical cascade reactions using isonitriles as radical acceptors. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2015, 44 (11), 3505-3521.
Ghosh, A. K.; Xu, C. X.; Osswald, H. L. Enantioselective synthesis of dioxatriquinane structural motifs for HIV-1 protease inhibitors using a cascade radical cyclization. Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56 (23), 3314-3317.
Hazard Statements: H301-H312-H315-H317-H319-H360FD-H372
Toxic if swallowed. Harmful in contact with skin. Causes skin irritation. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Causes serious eye irritation. May damage fertility. Suspected of damaging the unborn child. May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child. Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
Precautionary Statements: P201-P202-P260-P264b-P270-P271-P272-P280-P281-P301+P310-P302+P352-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P308+P313-P312-P330-P333+P313-P337+P313-P362-P501c
Obtain special instructions before use. Do not handle until all safety precautions have been read and understood. Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product. Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace. Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. Use personal protective equipment as required. IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. IF exposed or concerned: Get medical advice/attention. Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician if you feel unwell. Rinse mouth. If skin irritation or rash occurs: If eye irritation persists: Take off contaminated clothing and wash before reuse. Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant