Air and water stable secondary phosphine oxides as diazaphospholene precatalysts†
Air-stable secondary phosphine oxides (SPOs) are readily formed from diazaphospholene bromides. In the presence of pinacolborane, these SPOs are transformed into catalytically active diazaphospholene hydrides. A silyl triflate transforms the SPOs into phosphenium triflates. The use of diazaphospholene SPOs as reduction reaction precatalysts was validated by imine reduction, conjugate reduction, pyridine hydroboration, and asymmetric reduction.