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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Feb 18;126(6):1804-11.

Iridium bis(phosphinite) p-XPCP pincer complexes: highly active catalysts for the transfer dehydrogenation of alkanes.

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Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3290, USA.


A series of new bis(phosphinite) p-XPCPIrHCl pincer complexes ([PCP = eta(3)-5-X-C(6)H(2)[OP(tBu)(2)](2)-1,3], X = MeO (4a), Me (4b), H (4c), F (4d), C(6)F(5) (4e), and Ar(F) [=3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] (4f)) have been synthesized. Treatment of compounds 4a-f with NatOBu in cyclooctane (COA)/tert-butylethylene (TBE) mixtures generates species with unprecedented catalytic activity for the catalyzed transfer dehydrogenation of COA with TBE as acceptor to form cyclooctene (COE) and tert-butylethane (TBA). With substrate:precatalyst ratios of 3030COA:3030TBE:1p-XPCPIrHCl (4):1.1NaOtBu, turnover numbers (TONs) between 1400 and 2200 (up to 72% conversion in TBE) and initial turnover frequencies (TOFs) between 1.6 and 2.4 s(-1) have been observed at 200 degrees C.

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