Green and Efficient: Iron-Catalyzed Selective Oxidation of Olefins to Carbonyls with O2

2015-07-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Angela Gonzalez-de-Castro Jianliang Xiao
A mild and operationally simple iron-catalyzed protocol for the selective aerobic oxidation of aromatic olefins to carbonyl compounds is described. Catalyzed by a Fe­(III) species bearing a pyridine bisimidazoline ligand at 1 atm of O2, α- and β-substituted styrenes were cleaved to afford benzaldehydes and aromatic ketones generally in high yields with excellent chemoselectivity and very good functional group tolerance, including those containing radical-sensitive groups. With α-halo-substituted styrenes, the oxidation took place with concomitant halide migration to afford α-halo acetophenones. Various observations have been made, pointing to a mechanism in which both molecular oxygen and the olefinic substrate coordinate to the iron center, leading to the formation of a dioxetane intermediate, which collapses to give the carbonyl product.