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Iron(II)/(NH)2P2 Macrocycles: Modular, Highly Enantioselective Transfer Hydrogenation Catalysts

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posted on 23.08.2016, 00:00 by Raphael Bigler, Raffael Huber, Marco Stöckli, Antonio Mezzetti
A generalized protocol for the synthesis of chiral (NH)2P2 macrocycles allows changing the linker between the phosphines and gives access to a family of such ligands, as demonstrated for the propane-1,3-diyl analogue. The corresponding complexes based on earth-abundant and nontoxic iron were applied as catalysts in the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of polar double bonds. Thanks to the ligand modularity and to the use of tunable isonitriles as ancillary ligands, the catalyst system can be individually optimized for each substrate to give high enantioselectivity (up to 99.9% conversion and 99.6% ee, TOF up to >3950 h–1) for a broad scope of 26 substrates.