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The ubiquitous cross-coupling catalyst system ‘Pd(OAc)2’/2PPh3 forms a unique dinuclear PdI complex: an important entry point into catalytically competent cyclic Pd3 clusters

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Abstract

Palladium(II) acetate ‘Pd(OAc)2’/nPPh3 is a ubiquitous precatalyst system for cross-coupling reactions. It is widely accepted that reduction of in situ generated trans-[Pd(OAc)2(PPh3)2] affords [Pd0(PPh3)n] and/or [Pd0(PPh3)2(OAc)] species which undergo oxidative addition reactions with organohalides – the first committed step in cross-coupling catalytic cycles. In this paper we report for the first time that reaction of Pd3(OAc)6 with 6 equivalents of PPh3 (i.e. a Pd/PPh3 ratio of 1 : 2) affords a novel dinuclear PdI complex [Pd2(μ-PPh2)(μ2-OAc)(PPh3)2] as the major product, the elusive species resisting characterization until now. While unstable, the dinuclear PdI complex reacts with CH2Cl2, p-fluoroiodobenzene or 2-bromopyridine to afford Pd3 cluster complexes containing bridging halide ligands, i.e. [Pd3(X)(PPh2)2(PPh3)3]X, carrying an overall 4/3 oxidation state (at Pd). Use of 2-bromopyridine was critical in understanding that a putative 14-electron mononuclear ‘PdII(R)(X)(PPh3)’ is released on forming [Pd3(X)(PPh2)2(PPh3)3]X clusters from [Pd2(μ-PPh2)(μ2-OAc)(PPh3)2]. Altering the Pd/PPh3 ratio to 1 : 4 forms Pd0(PPh3)3 quantitatively. In an exemplar Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling reaction, the importance of the ‘Pd(OAc)2’/nPPh3 ratio is demonstrated; catalytic efficacy is significantly enhanced when n = 2. Employing ‘Pd(OAc)2’/PPh3 in a 1 : 2 ratio leads to the generation of [Pd2(μ-PPh2)(μ2-OAc)(PPh3)2] which upon reaction with organohalides (i.e. substrate) forms a reactive Pd3 cluster species. These higher nuclearity species are the cross-coupling catalyst species, when employing a ‘Pd(OAc)2’/PPh3 of 1 : 2, for which there are profound implications for understanding downstream product selectivities and chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivities, particularly when employing PPh3 as the ligand.

Graphical abstract: The ubiquitous cross-coupling catalyst system ‘Pd(OAc)2’/2PPh3 forms a unique dinuclear PdI complex: an important entry point into catalytically competent cyclic Pd3 clusters

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Apr 2019, accepted on 05 Jul 2019 and first published on 12 Jul 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC01847F
Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    The ubiquitous cross-coupling catalyst system ‘Pd(OAc)2’/2PPh3 forms a unique dinuclear PdI complex: an important entry point into catalytically competent cyclic Pd3 clusters

    N. W. J. Scott, M. J. Ford, C. Schotes, R. R. Parker, A. C. Whitwood and I. J. S. Fairlamb, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC01847F

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