Transition-Metal-Mediated Functionalization of White Phosphorus

Christian Hoidn, Daniel Scott, Robert Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (SciVal)


Recently there has been great interest in the reactivity of transition-metal (TM) centers towards white phosphorus (P4). This has ultimately been motivated by a desire to find TM-mediated alternatives to the current industrial routes used to transform P4 into myriad useful P-containing products, which are typically indirect, wasteful, and highly hazardous. Such a TM-mediated process can be divided into two steps: activation of P4 to generate a polyphosphorus complex TM-Pn, and subsequent functionalization of this complex to release the desired phosphorus-containing product. The former step has by now become well established, allowing the isolation of many different TM-Pn products. In contrast, productive functionalization of these complexes has proven extremely challenging and has been achieved only in a relative handful of cases. In this review we provide a comprehensive summary of successful TM-Pn functionalization reactions, where TM-Pn must be accessible by reaction of a TM precursor with P4. We hope that this will provide a useful resource for continuing efforts that are working towards this highly challenging goal of modern synthetic chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1886-1902
Number of pages17
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021


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