The dehydrogenative oxidation of aryl methanols using an oxygen bridged [Cu–O–Se] bimetallic catalyst†
Herein, we report a new protocol for the dehydrogenative oxidation of aryl methanols using the cheap and commercially available catalyst CuSeO3·2H2O. Oxygen-bridged [Cu–O–Se] bimetallic catalysts are not only less expensive than other catalysts used for the dehydrogenative oxidation of aryl alcohols, but they are also effective under mild conditions and at low concentrations. The title reaction proceeds with a variety of aromatic and heteroaromatic methanol examples, obtaining the corresponding carbonyls in high yields. This is the first example using an oxygen-bridged copper-based bimetallic catalyst [Cu–O–Se] for dehydrogenative benzylic oxidation. Computational DFT studies reveal simultaneous H-transfer and Cu–O bond breaking, with a transition-state barrier height of 29.3 kcal mol−1.