Intermolecular hydroacylation: High activity rhodium catalysts containing small-bite-angle diphosphine ligands

Adrian B Chaplin, Joel F. Hooper, Andrew S Weller, Michael C. Willis

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110 Citations (Scopus)


Readily prepared and bench-stable rhodium complexes containing methylene bridged diphosphine ligands, viz. [Rh(C 6H 5F)(R 2PCH 2PR' 2)][BAr F 4] (R, R' = tBu or Cy; Ar F = C 6H 3-3,5- (CF 3) 2), are shown to be practical and very efficient precatalysts for the intermolecular hydroacylation of a wide variety of unactivated alkenes and alkynes with β-S-substituted aldehydes. Intermediate acyl hydride complexes [Rh( tBu 2PCH 2P tBu 2)H{κ 2(S,C)-SMe(C 6H 4CO)}(L)] + (L = acetone, MeCN, [NCCH 2BF 3] -) and the decarbonylation product [Rh( tBu 2PCH 2P tBu 2)(CO) (SMePh)] + have been characterized in solution and by X-ray crystallography from stoichiometric reactions employing 2-(methylthio) benzaldehdye. Analogous complexes with the phosphine 2-(diphenylphosphino) benzaldehyde are also reported. Studies indicate that through judicious choice of solvent and catalyst/substrate concentration, both decarbonylation and productive hydroacylation can be tuned to such an extent that very low catalyst loadings (0.1 mol %) and turnover frequencies of greater than 300 h -1 can be achieved. The mechanism of catalysis has been further probed by KIE and deuterium labeling experiments. Combined with the stoichiometric studies, a mechanism is proposed in which both oxidative addition of the aldehyde to give an acyl hydride and insertion of the hydride into the alkene are reversible, with the latter occurring to give both linear and branched alkyl intermediates, although reductive elimination for the linear isomer is suggested to have a considerably lower barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4885-4897
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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