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Highly Active Trialkoxymolybdenum(VI) Alkylidyne Catalysts Synthesized by a Reductive Recycle Strategy

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journal contribution
posted on 14.01.2004, 00:00 by Wei Zhang, Stefan Kraft, Jeffrey S. Moore
A systematic study of alkyne metathesis catalyzed by trialkoxymolybdenum(VI) alkylidyne complexes is reported, in which substrate functional groups, alkynyl substituents, and catalyst ligands are varied. Sterically hindered trisamidomolybdenum(VI) propylidyne complex 5 was prepared conveniently through a previously communicated reductive recycle strategy. Alcoholysis of 5 with various phenols/alcohols provides a set of active catalysts for alkyne metathesis at room temperature, among which the catalyst with p-nitrophenol as ligand shows the highest catalytic activity and is compatible with a variety of functional groups and solvents. A key finding that enabled the use of highly active molybdenum(VI) catalysts is replacement of the commonly used propynyl substituents on the starting alkyne substrates with butynyl groups. Under reduced pressure using 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene as an involatile solvent, the alkyne metathesis of butynyl substituted compounds proceeds well at 30 °C providing high yields (83%−97%) of dimers. Rationalization of the special role played by butynyl substrates is discussed.