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Flexible Steric Bulky Bis(Imino)acenaphthene (BIAN)-Supported N‑Heterocyclic Carbene Palladium Precatalysts: Catalytic Application in Buchwald–Hartwig Amination in Air

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posted on 28.02.2017, 00:00 by Xiao-Bing Lan, Yinwu Li, Yan-Fang Li, Dong-Sheng Shen, Zhuofeng Ke, Feng-Shou Liu
To achieve efficient palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction under mild reaction conditions with the flexible steric bulk strategy, a series of Pd-PEPPSI (PEPPSI: pyridine-enhanced precatalyst preparation, stabilization, and initiation) complexes C1C6 were synthesized and characterized, in which unsymmetric flexible steric bulk was introduced on the N-aryl of ancenaphthyl skeleton. These well-defined palladium complexes were found to be excellent precatalysts for Buchwald–Hartwig amination of aryl chlorides with amines in air. The electronic effect of the Pd-PEPPSI complexes and the effect of ancillary pyridine ligands were evaluated, among which complex C3 exhibited the most efficiency. It was demonstrated that the cross-coupling products were obtained in excellent yields in the presence of 0.5–0.1 mol % palladium loading. A wide range of aryl- and heteroaryl chlorides as well as various amines were compatible. The oxidative addition of aryl chlorides is revealed to be the rate-determining step in the catalytic cycle. The catalytic activity can be enhanced by introducing electron-donating groups to the Pd-PEPPSI complexes. This type of Pd-PEPPSI precatalyst showed the most efficiency reported to date for the challenging C–N cross-coupling reactions requiring no anhydrous and inert atmosphere protections, suggesting flexible steric bulk as a promising catalyst design strategy.

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