Insights into the mechanistic and synthetic aspects of the Mo/P-catalyzed oxidation of N-heterocycles†
A Mo/P catalytic system for an efficient gram-scale oxidation of a variety of nitrogen heterocycles to N-oxides with hydrogen peroxide as terminal oxidant has been investigated. Combined spectroscopic and crystallographic studies point to the tetranuclear Mo4P peroxo complex as one of the active catalytic species present in the solution. Based on this finding an optimized catalytic system has been developed. The utility and chemoselectivity of the catalytic system has been demonstrated by the synthesis of over 20 heterocyclic N-oxides.