[reaction: see text] Trifluoropropanoic acid reacts with 1 equiv of POCl3 in DMF to generate the trifluoromethyl enamine (7). At this stage, two reaction manifolds are available. The expected reaction with additional POCl3 generates the 2-trifluoromethyl vinamidinium salt (3c). However, thermally driven loss of fluoride generates an iminium ion, which sets the stage for a [2 + 2] cycloaddition to ultimately generate the dimethylaminomethylene vinamidinium salt (1).
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