Although gem-diborylalkenes are known to be among the most valuable reagents in modern organic synthesis, providing a rapid access to a wide array of transformations, including the construction of C-C and C-heteroatom bonds, their use as dienophile-reactive groups has been rare. Herein we report the Diels-Alder (DA) reaction of (unsymmetrical) gem-diborylalkenes. These reactions provide a general and efficient method for the stereoselective conversion of gem-diborylalkenes to rapidly access 1,1-bisborylcyclohexenes. Using the same DA reaction manifold with borylated-dienes and gem-diborylalkenes, we also developed a concise, highly regioselective synthesis of 1,1,2-tris- A nd 1,1,3,4-tetrakis(boronates)cyclohexenes, a family of compounds that currently lack efficient synthetic access. Furthermore, DFT calculations provided insight into the underlying factors that control the chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity of these DA reactions. This method also provides stereodivergent syntheses of gem-diborylnorbornenes. The utility of the gem-diborylnorbornene building blocks was demonstrated by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), providing a highly modular approach to the first synthesis of the gem-diboron-based polymers. Additionally, these polymers have been successfully submitted to postpolymerization modification reactions. Given its simplicity and versatility, we believe that this novel DA and ROMP approach holds great promise for organoboron synthesis as well as organoboron-based polymers and that it will result in more novel transformations in both academic and industrial research.
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