A 3,4-dimercapto-3-cyclobutene-1,2-dione-chelated ruthenium carbene catalyst for Z-stereoretentive/stereoselective olefin metathesis†
A ruthenium carbene catalyst chelated with a 3,4-dioxocyclobut-1-ene-1,2-dithiolate ligand was synthesized and its molecular structure was determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The Ru catalyst had excellent catalytic activity with high yields and good Z/E ratios for the ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of norbornene (yield: 96%/Z/E: 86 : 14) and 1,5-cyclooctadiene (yield: 86%/Z/E: 91 : 9) and for ring opening cross metathesis (ROCM) reactions of norbornene/5-norbornene-2-exo, 3-exo-dimethanol with styrene (yields: 64%–92%/Z/E: 97 : 3–98 : 2) or 4-fluorostyrene (yield: 46%–94%/Z/E: 98 : 2). The catalyst also had high Z-stereoretentivity (91 : 9–98 : 2) for cross-metathesis (CM) reactions of terminal olefins with (Z)-2-butene-1,4-diol. More importantly, the catalyst had moderate Z-stereoselectivity for homometathesis reactions of terminal olefins giving cis-olefins as the major products (Z/E ratios of 70 : 30–77 : 23). Like other Ru carbene complexes, the catalyst tolerates many different functional groups. The presented data, supported by DFT calculations, show that our catalyst, bearing a chelating 3,4-dioxocyclobut-1-ene-1,2-dithiolate ligand, exhibits higher stability towards air than Hoveyda's stereoretentive complex systems.