Effect of the Structure of the Diamine Backbone of P-N-N-P ligands in Iron(II) Complexes on Catalytic Activity in the Transfer Hydrogenation of Acetophenone
The asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of aromatic ketones can be efficiently accomplished using catalysts that are based on platinum group metals which are more toxic and less abundant than iron. For that reason the discovery of iron based catalysts for the use in this transformation is important. To address this issue, we synthesized a new series of iron(II)-based precatalysts trans-[Fe(Br)(CO)(PPh(2)CH(2)CH═NCHRCHRN═CHCH(2)PPh(2))]BPh(4) (5a-5d) containing P-N-N-P ligands with the diamines (R,R)-1,2-diaminocyclohexane (a), (R,R)-1,2-diphenyl-1,2-diaminoethane (b), (R,R)-1,2-di(4-methoxyphenyl)-1,2-diaminoethane (c), and ethylenediamine (d) incorporated in the backbone using a convenient one-pot synthesis using readily available starting materials. All of the complexes, when activated with a base, show a very high activity in the transfer hydrogenation catalysis of acetophenone, using 2-propanol as a reducing agent under mild conditions. A comparison of the TOF of complexes 5a-5d show that the catalytic activity of complexes increase as the size of the substituents in the backbone of ligands increases (d < a < b = c).
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