Alkene hydrosilylation, the addition of a silicon hydride (Si-H) across a carbon-carbon double bond, is one of the largest-scale industrial applications of homogeneous catalysis and is used in the commercial production of numerous consumer goods. For decades, precious metals, principally compounds of platinum and rhodium, have been used as catalysts for this reaction class. Despite their widespread application, limitations such as high and volatile catalyst costs and competing side reactions have persisted. Here, we report that well-characterized molecular iron coordination compounds promote the selective anti-Markovnikov addition of sterically hindered, tertiary silanes to alkenes under mild conditions. These Earth-abundant base-metal catalysts, coordinated by optimized bis(imino)pyridine ligands, show promise for industrial application.
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