Fourteen Cp*IrIII complexes, bearing various combinations of N- and C-spectator ligands, are assayed in hydrogen-transfer catalysis from isopropyl alcohol to acetophenone under various conditions to investigate ligand effects in this widely used reaction. The new cationic complexes bearing monodentate pyridine and N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands were characterized crystallographically and by variable-temperature nuclear magnetic resonance (VT-NMR). Control experiments and mercury poisoning tests showed that iridium(0) nanoparticles, although active in the reaction, are not responsible for the high activity observed for the most active precatalyst [Cp*Ir(IMe)2Cl]BF4 (6). For efficient catalysis, it was found necessary to have both NHCs in monodentate form; tying them together in a bis-NHC chelate ligand gave greatly reduced activity. The kinetics of the base-assisted reaction showed induction periods as well as deactivation processes, and H/D scrambling experiments cast some doubt on the classical monohydride mechanism.
Hintermair, U., Campos, J., Brewster, T. P., Pratt, L. M., Schley, N. D., & Crabtree, R. H. (2014). Hydrogen-transfer catalysis with Cp*IrIII complexes: The influence of the ancillary ligands. ACS Catalysis, 4(1), 99-108. https://doi.org/10.1021/cs400834q