Neutral iridium catalysts with chiral phosphine-carboxy ligands for asymmetric hydrogenation of unsaturated carboxylic acids†
We developed neutral iridium catalysts with chiral spiro phosphine-carboxy ligands (SpiroCAP) for asymmetric hydrogenation of unsaturated carboxylic acids. Different from the cationic Crabtree-type catalysts, the iridium catalysts with chiral spiro phosphine-carboxy ligands are neutral and do not require the use of a tetrakis[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]borate (BArF−) counterion, which is necessary for stabilizing cationic Crabtree-type catalysts. Another advantage of the neutral iridium catalysts is that they have high stability and have a long lifetime in air. The new iridium catalysts with chiral spiro phosphine-carboxy ligands exhibit unprecedented high enantioselectivity (up to 99.4% ee) in the asymmetric hydrogenations of various unsaturated carboxylic acids, particularly for 3-alkyl-3-methylenepropionic acids, which are challenging substrates for other chiral catalysts.
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