Synthesis and hydrogenation activity of iron dialkyl complexes with chiral bidentate phosphines

Jordan M. Hoyt, Michael Shevlin, Grant W. Margulieux, Shane W. Krska, Matthew T. Tudge, Paul J. Chirik

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The activity of bis(phosphine) iron dialkyl complexes for the asymmetric hydrogenation of alkenes has been evaluated. High-throughput experimentation was used to identify suitable iron-phosphine combinations using the displacement of pyridine from py2Fe(CH2SiMe3)2 for precatalyst formation. Preparative-scale synthesis of a family of bis(phosphine) iron dialkyl complexes was also achieved using both ligand substitution and salt metathesis methods. Each of the isolated organometallic iron complexes was established as a tetrahedral and hence high-spin ferrous compound, as determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy, magnetic measurements, and, in many cases, X-ray diffraction. One example containing a Josiphos-type ligand, (SL-J212-1)Fe(CH2SiMe3)2, proved more active than other isolated iron dialkyl precatalysts. Filtration experiments and the lack of observed enantioselectivity support dissociation of the phosphine ligand upon activation with dihydrogen and formation of catalytically active heterogeneous iron. The larger six-membered chelate is believed to reduce the coordination affinity of the phosphine for the iron center, enabling metal particle formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5781-5790
Number of pages10
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 27 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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