Voccia, Maria; Nolan, Steven P.; Cavallo, Luigi; Poater, Albert(Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, Beilstein Institut, 2018-11-30)[Article]
The first turnover event of an olefin metathesis reaction using a new family of homogenous Ru-based catalysts bearing modified indenylidene ligands has been investigated, using methoxyethylene as a substrate. The study is carried out by means of density functional theory (DFT). The indenylidene ligands are decorated with ortho-methyl and isopropyl groups at both ortho positions of their phenyl ring. DFT results highlight the more sterically demanding indenylidenes have to undergo a more exothermic first phosphine dissociation step. Overall, the study emphasises advantages of increased steric hindrance in promoting the phosphine release, and the relative stability of the corresponding metallacycle over classical ylidene ligands. Mayer bond orders and steric maps provide structural reasons for these effects, whereas NICS aromaticity and conceptual DFT confirm that the electronic parameters do not play a significant role.
Meconi, Giulia Magi; Vummaleti, Sai V. C.; Luque-Urrutia, Jesús Antonio; Belanzoni, Paola; Nolan, Steven P.; Jacobsen, Heiko; Cavallo, Luigi; Solà, Miquel; Poater, Albert(Organometallics, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2017-05-24)[Article]
Density functional theory calculations have been used to investigate the activation mechanism for the precatalyst series [Pd]-X-1–4 derived from [Pd(IPr)(R-allyl)X] species by substitutions at the terminal position of the allyl moiety ([Pd] = Pd(IPr); R = H (1), Me (2), gem-Me2 (3), Ph (4), X = Cl, Br). Next, we have investigated the Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling reaction for the active catalyst species IPr-Pd(0) using 4-chlorotoluene and phenylboronic acid as substrates and isopropyl alcohol as a solvent. Our theoretical findings predict an upper barrier trend, corresponding to the activation mechanism for the [Pd]-Cl-1–4 series, in good agreement with the experiments. They indeed provide a quantitative explanation of the low yield (12%) displayed by [Pd]-Cl-1 species (ΔG⧧ ≈ 30.0 kcal/mol) and of the high yields (≈90%) observed in the case of [Pd]-Cl-2–4 complexes (ΔG⧧ ≈ 20.0 kcal/mol). Additionally, the studied Suzuki–Miyaura reaction involving the IPr-Pd(0) species is calculated to be thermodynamically favorable and kinetically facile. Similar investigations for the [Pd]-Br-1–4 series, derived from [Pd(IPr)(R-allyl)Br], indicate that the oxidative addition step for IPr-Pd(0)-mediated catalysis with 4-bromotoluene is kinetically more favored than that with 4-chlorotoluene. Finally, we have explored the potential of Ni-based complexes [Ni((IPr)(R-allyl)X] (X = Cl, Br) as Suzuki–Miyaura reaction catalysts. Apart from a less endergonic reaction energy profile for both precatalyst activation and catalytic cycle, a steep increase in the predicted upper energy barriers (by 2.0–15.0 kcal/mol) is calculated in the activation mechanism for the [Ni]-X-1–4 series compared to the [Pd]-X-1–4 series. Overall, these results suggest that Ni-based precatalysts are expected to be less active than the Pd-based precatalysts for the studied Suzuki–Miyaura reaction.
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