Metal-Free Hydrogenation Catalyzed by an Air-Stable Borane: Use of Solvent as a Frustrated Lewis Base

Daniel Scott, Matthew J. Fuchter, Andrew Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In recent years ‘frustrated Lewis pairs’ (FLPs) have been shown to be effective metal-free catalysts for the hydrogenation of many unsaturated substrates. Even so, limited functional-group tolerance restricts the range of solvents in which FLP-mediated reactions can be performed, with all FLP-mediated hydrogenations reported to date carried out in non-donor hydrocarbon or chlorinated solvents. Herein we report that the bulky Lewis acids B(C6Cl5)x(C6F5)3−x (x=0–3) are capable of heterolytic H2 activation in the strong-donor solvent THF, in the absence of any additional Lewis base. This allows metal-free catalytic hydrogenations to be performed in donor solvent media under mild conditions; these systems are particularly effective for the hydrogenation of weakly basic substrates, including the first examples of metal-free catalytic hydrogenation of furan heterocycles. The air-stability of the most effective borane, B(C6Cl5)(C6F5)2, makes this a practically simple reaction method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10218-10222
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Volume53
Issue number38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2014

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