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Asymmetric Induction with a Chiral Amine Catalyzed by a Ru-PNP Pincer Complex: Insight from Theoretical Investigation

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-06-03, 18:04 authored by Yangqiu Liu, Xin Yue, Longfei Li, Zhewei Li, Lin Zhang, Min Pu, Zuoyin Yang, Chao Wang, Jianliang Xiao, Ming Lei
In this paper, the mechanism of asymmetric amination of a racemic alcohol with Ellman’s sulfinamide and the origin of diastereoselectivity catalyzed by a Ru-PNP pincer complex were studied using density functional theory (DFT). The mechanism involves dehydrogenation of the racemic alcohol, C–N coupling, and hydrogen transfer from the catalyst to the in situ formed imine. The calculated results indicate that both the alcohol dehydrogenation and imine hydrogenation are stepwise. The hydride transfer from a Ru hydride complex to the imine is shown to be the chirality-determining step in the whole catalytic cycle. It was found that the diastereoselectivity mainly stems from the hydrogen bonding interactions between the oxygen atom of the sulfinyl moiety and the hydrogen atom of the NH group of the ligand.