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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 7, pp. 1471-1483

Published online 2010-05-04

Aerobic oxidation with bifunctional molecular catalysts

Takao Ikariya*, Shigeki Kuwata and Yoshihito Kayaki

Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, O-okayama 2-12-1-E4-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152‑8552, Japan

Abstract: A new series of half-sandwich group 8 and 9 metal complexes bearing a metal/NH bifunctional moiety were synthesized from benzylic amines. The isolable Ir amide complexes serve as effective catalysts for aerobic oxidative transformation of secondary and primary alcohols into the corresponding ketones and esters under mild conditions. The aerobic oxidative kinetic resolution of racemic secondary alcohols with chiral bifunctional Ir catalysts was found to proceed smoothly under mild conditions with high selectivity. A novel imido-bridged dirhodium complex, which may be regarded as a dinuclear variant of the bifunctional mononuclear amide complexes, also proved to promote aerobic oxidation of a secondary alcohol and H2.