Lanthanide anilido complexes: synthesis, characterization, and use as highly efficient catalysts for hydrophosphonylation of aldehydes and unactivated ketones†
Lanthanide anilido complexes stabilized by the 2,6-diisopropylanilido ligand have been synthesized and characterized, and their catalytic activity for hydrophosphonylation reaction was explored. A reaction of anhydrous LnCl3 with 5 equivalents of LiNHPh-iPr2-2,6 in THF generated the heterobimetallic lanthanide–lithium anilido complexes (2,6-iPr2PhNH)5LnLi2(THF)2 [Ln = Sm(1), Nd(2), Y(3)] in good isolated yields. These complexes are well characterized by elemental analysis, IR, NMR (for complex 3) and single-crystal structure determination. Complexes 1–3 are isostructural. In these complexes, the lanthanide metal ion is five-coordinated by five nitrogen atoms from five 2,6-diisopropylanilido ligands to form a distorted trigonal bipyramidal geometry. The lithium ion is coordinated by two nitrogen atoms from two 2,6-diisopropylanilido ligands, and one oxygen atom from a THF molecule. It was found that these simple lanthanide anilido complexes are highly efficient for catalyzing hydrophosphonylation reactions of various aldehydes and unactivated ketones to generate α-hydroxyphosphonates in good to excellent yields (up to 99%) within a short time (5 min for aldehydes, 20 min for ketones). Furthermore, the mechanism of hydrophosphonylation reactions has also been elucidated via1H NMR monitoring of reaction.