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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Jun 15;127(23):8499-507.

Using mechanistic and computational studies to explain ligand effects in the palladium-catalyzed aerobic oxidation of alcohols.

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Contribution from the Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


The experimental and computational mechanistic details of the Pd(OAc)(2)/TEA-catalyzed aerobic alcohol oxidation system are disclosed. Measurement of various kinetic isotope effects and the activation parameters as well as rate law derivation support rate-limiting deprotonation of the palladium-coordinated alcohol. Rate-limiting deprotonation of the alcohol is contrary to the majority of related kinetic studies for Pd-catalyzed aerobic oxidation of alcohols, which propose rate-limiting beta-hydride elimination. This difference in the rate-limiting step is supported by the computational model, which predicts the activation energy for deprotonation is 3 kcal/mol higher than the activation energy for beta-hydride elimination. The computational features of the similar Pd(OAc)(2)/pyridine system were also elucidated. Details of the study illustrate that the use of TEA results in an active catalyst that has only one ligand bound to the Pd, resulting in a significant lowering of the activation energy for beta-hydride elimination and, therefore, a catalyst that is active at room temperature.

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