Ruthenium(ii)-catalyzed olefination via carbonyl reductive cross-coupling†
Natural availability of carbonyl groups offers reductive carbonyl coupling tremendous synthetic potential for efficient olefin synthesis, yet the catalytic carbonyl cross-coupling remains largely elusive. We report herein such a reaction, mediated by hydrazine under ruthenium(II) catalysis. This method enables facile and selective cross-couplings of two unsymmetrical carbonyl compounds in either an intermolecular or intramolecular fashion. Moreover, this chemistry accommodates a variety of substrates, proceeds under mild reaction conditions with good functional group tolerance, and generates stoichiometric benign byproducts. Importantly, the coexistence of KOtBu and bidentate phosphine dmpe is vital to this transformation.