Selective carbonylation of benzene to benzaldehyde using a phosphorus–nitrogen PN3P–rhodium(i) complex†
A PN3P pincer ligand (1) bearing dicyclopentylphosphine substituents reacts with [Rh(COD)Cl]2 (COD = 1,5-cyclooctadiene) to produce the complex (PN3P)RhCl (2). Treatment of a benzene solution of 2 with KN(SiMe3)2 stimulates a dearomatization process, and C–H activation of benzene is achieved through the rearomatization of the central pyridine ring. This deprotonation/reprotonation of the NH arm of 2 gives the phenyl complex (PN3P)Rh(C6H5) (3). The subsequent introduction of CO gas into 3 yields the benzoyl complex (PN3P)RhCO (C6H5) (4), which can release benzaldehyde upon treatment with diluted HCl solution and regenerates 2.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating the 90th birthday of Professor Lu Xiyan