Transition metal catalysis in confined spaces
Transition metal catalysis plays an important role in both industry and in academia where selectivity, activity and stability are crucial parameters to control. Next to changing the structure of the ligand, introducing a confined space as a second coordination sphere around a metal catalyst has recently been shown to be a viable method to induce new selectivity and activity in transition metal catalysis. In this review we focus on supramolecular strategies to encapsulate transition metal complexes with the aim of controlling the selectivity via the second coordination sphere. As we will discuss, catalyst confinement can result in selective processes that are impossible or difficult to achieve by traditional methods. We will describe the template-ligand approach as well as the host–guest approach to arrive at such supramolecular systems and discuss how the performance of the catalyst is enhanced by confining it in a molecular container.