Insight into transmetalation enables cobalt-catalyzed Suzuki-Miyaura cross coupling

Jamie M. Neely, Máté J. Bezdek, Paul J. Chirik

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Among the fundamental transformations that comprise a catalytic cycle for cross coupling, transmetalation from the nucleophile to the metal catalyst is perhaps the least understood. Optimizing this elementary step has enabled the first example of a cobalt-catalyzed Suzuki-Miyaura cross coupling between aryl triflate electrophiles and heteroaryl boron nucleophiles. Key to this discovery was the preparation and characterization of a new class of tetrahedral, high-spin bis(phosphino)pyridine cobalt(I) alkoxide and aryloxide complexes, (iPrPNP)CoOR, and optimizing their reactivity with 2-benzofuranylBPin (Pin = pinacolate). Cobalt compounds with small alkoxide substituents such as R = methyl and ethyl underwent swift transmetalation at 23 °C but also proved kinetically unstable toward β-H elimination. Secondary alkoxides such as R = iPr or CH(Ph)Me balanced stability and reactivity. Isolation and structural characterization of the product following transmetalation, (iPrPNP)Co(2-benzofuranyl), established a planar, diamagnetic cobalt(I) complex, demonstrating the high- and low-spin states of cobalt(I) rapidly interconvert during this reaction. The insights from the studies in this elementary step guided selection of appropriate reaction conditions to enable the first examples of cobalt-catalyzed C-C bond formation between neutral boron nucleophiles and aryl triflate electrophiles, and a model for the successful transmetalation reactivity is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-942
Number of pages8
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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