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Confinement Effects for Efficient Macrocyclization Reactions with Supported Cationic Molybdenum Imido Alkylidene N‑Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes

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journal contribution
posted on 03.09.2021, 02:44 by Felix Ziegler, Hamzeh Kraus, Mathis J. Benedikter, Dongren Wang, Johanna R. Bruckner, Michal Nowakowski, Kilian Weißer, Helena Solodenko, Guido Schmitz, Matthias Bauer, Niels Hansen, Michael R. Buchmeiser
For entropic reasons, the synthesis of macrocycles via olefin ring-closing metathesis (RCM) is impeded by competing acyclic diene metathesis (ADMET) oligomerization. With cationic molybdenum imido alkylidene N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes confined in tailored ordered mesoporous silica, RCM can be run with macrocyclization selectivities up to 98% and high substrate concentrations up to 0.1 M. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the high conversions are a direct result of the proximity between the surface-bound catalyst, proven by extended X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and the surface-located substrates. Back-diffusion of the macrocycles decreases with decreasing pore diameter of the silica and is responsible for the high macrocyclization efficiency. Also, Z-selectivity increases with decreasing pore diameter and increasing Tolman electronic parameter of the NHC. Running reactions at different concentrations allows for identifying the optimum substrate concentration for each material and substrate combination.