N-Oxides rescue Ru(v) in catalytic Griffith–Ley (TPAP) alcohol oxidations†
The redox and ligand exchange reactions of oxido-ruthenium complexes are central to the function of the Sharpless and Griffith–Ley one-step alcohol oxidation protocols. However, their mechanisms have not been elucidated. Cyclic voltammetry and UV-vis spectroelectrochemical analysis of [RuO4]− has provided new insight into the key ruthenium oxidation states involved in catalysis. Furthermore, the oxidation states sensitive to the presence of the N-oxide co-oxidant N-methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMO), and its role in catalysis, have been determined.