Advanced synthesis & catalysis

Triarylphosphine Ligands with Hemilabile Alkoxy Groups. Ligands for Nickel(II)-Catalyzed Olefin Dimerization Reactions. Hydrovinylation of Vi-nylarenes, 1,3-Dienes, and Cycloisomerization of 1,6-Dienes.

PMID 25395919


Substitution of one of the phenyl groups of triphenylphosphine with a 2-benzyloxy-, 2-benzyloxymethyl- or 2-benzyloxyethyl-phenyl moiety results in a set of simple ligands, which exhibit strikingly different behaviour in various nickel(II)-catalyzed olefin dimerization reactions. Complexes of ligands with 2-benzyloxyphenyl-, 2-benzyloxymethylphenyl-diphenylphosphine (L5 and L6 respectively) are most active for hydrovinylation (HV) of vinylarenes, with the former leading to extensive isomerization of the primary 3-aryl-1-butenes into the conjugated 2-aryl-2-butenes even at -55 °C. However, 2-benzyloxymethyl-substituted ligand L6 is slightly less active, leading up to quantitative yields of the primary products of HV at ambient temperature with no trace of isomerization, thus providing the best option for a practical synthesis of these compounds. In sharp contrast, hydrovinylation of a variety of 1,3-dienes is best catalyzed by nickel(II)-complexes of 2-benzyloxyphenyldiphenylphosphine, L5. The other two ligands, 2-benzyloxymethyl-(L6) and 2-benzyloxyethyl-diphenylphosphine (L7) are much less effective in the HV of 1,3-dienes. Nickel(II)-catalyzed cycloisomerization of 1,6-dienes into methylenecyclopentanes, a reaction mechanistically related to the other hydrovinylation reactions, is also uniquely effected by nickel(II)-complexes of L5, but not of L6 or L7. In an attempt to prepare authentic samples of the methylencyclohexane products, nickel(II)-complexes of N-heterocyclic carbene-ligands were examined. In sharp contrast to the phosphines, which give the methylenecyclopentanes, methylenecyclohexanes are the major products in the (N-heterocyclic carbene)nickel(II)-mediated reactions.