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Terminal and Internal Olefin Epoxidation with Cobalt(II) as the Catalyst: Evidence for an Active Oxidant CoII–Acylperoxo Species

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journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2012, 00:00 authored by Min Young Hyun, Soo Hyun Kim, Young Joo Song, Hong Gyu Lee, Young Dan Jo, Jin Hoon Kim, In Hong Hwang, Jin Young Noh, Juhye Kang, Cheal Kim
A simple catalytic system that uses commercially available cobalt­(II) perchlorate as the catalyst and 3-chloroperoxybenzoic acid as the oxidant was found to be very effective in the epoxidation of a variety of olefins with high product selectivity under mild experimental conditions. More challenging targets such as terminal aliphatic olefins were also efficiently and selectively oxidized to the corresponding epoxides. This catalytic system features a nearly nonradical-type and highly stereospecific epoxidation of aliphatic olefin, fast conversion, and high yields. Olefin epoxidation by this catalytic system is proposed to involve a new reactive CoII–OOC­(O)­R species, based on evidence from H218O-exchange experiments, the use of peroxyphenylacetic acid as a mechanistic probe, reactivity and Hammett studies, EPR, and ESI-mass spectrometric investigation. However, the O–O bond of a CoII–acylperoxo intermediate (CoII–OOC­(O)­R) was found to be cleaved both heterolytically and homolytically if there is no substrate.