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    Homogeneous cobalt-catalyzed reductive amination for synthesis of functionalized primary amines
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Murugesan, Kathiravan; Wei, Zhihong; Chandrashekhar, Vishwas G.; Neumann, Helfried; Spannenberg, Anke; Jiao, Haijun; Beller, Matthias; Jagadeesh, Rajenahally V.
    The development of earth abundant 3d metal-based catalysts continues to be an important goal of chemical research. In particular, the design of base metal complexes for reductive amination to produce primary amines remains as challenging. Here, we report the combination of cobalt and linear-triphos (bis(2-diphenylphosphinoethyl)phenylphosphine) as the molecularly-defined non-noble metal catalyst for the synthesis of linear and branched benzylic, heterocyclic and aliphatic primary amines from carbonyl compounds, gaseous ammonia and hydrogen in good to excellent yields. Noteworthy, this cobalt catalyst exhibits high selectivity and as a result the -NH2 moiety is introduced in functionalized and structurally diverse molecules. An inner-sphere mechanism on the basis of the mono-cationic [triphos-CoH]+ complex as active catalyst is proposed and supported with density functional theory computation on the doublet state potential free energy surface and H2 metathesis is found as the rate-determining step.
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    A meta-analysis of catalytic literature data reveals property-performance correlations for the OCM reaction
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Schmack, Roman; Friedrich, Alexandra; Kondratenko, Evgenii V.; Polte, Jörg; Werwatz, Axel; Kraehnert, Ralph
    Decades of catalysis research have created vast amounts of experimental data. Within these data, new insights into property-performance correlations are hidden. However, the incomplete nature and undefined structure of the data has so far prevented comprehensive knowledge extraction. We propose a meta-analysis method that identifies correlations between a catalyst’s physico-chemical properties and its performance in a particular reaction. The method unites literature data with textbook knowledge and statistical tools. Starting from a researcher’s chemical intuition, a hypothesis is formulated and tested against the data for statistical significance. Iterative hypothesis refinement yields simple, robust and interpretable chemical models. The derived insights can guide new fundamental research and the discovery of improved catalysts. We demonstrate and validate the method for the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM). The final model indicates that only well-performing catalysts provide under reaction conditions two independent functionalities, i.e. a thermodynamically stable carbonate and a thermally stable oxide support.
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    Homo- and heterodehydrocoupling of phosphines mediated by alkali metal catalysts
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Wu, Lipeng; Annibale, Vincent T.; Jiao, Haijun; Brookfield, Adam; Collison, David; Manners, Ian
    Catalytic chemistry that involves the activation and transformation of main group substrates is relatively undeveloped and current examples are generally mediated by expensive transition metal species. Herein, we describe the use of inexpensive and readily available tBuOK as a catalyst for P–P and P–E (E = O, S, or N) bond formation. Catalytic quantities of tBuOK in the presence of imine, azobenzene hydrogen acceptors, or a stoichiometric amount of tBuOK with hydrazobenzene, allow efficient homodehydrocoupling of phosphines under mild conditions (e.g. 25 °C and < 5 min). Further studies demonstrate that the hydrogen acceptors play an intimate mechanistic role. We also show that our tBuOK catalysed methodology is general for the heterodehydrocoupling of phosphines with alcohols, thiols and amines to generate a range of potentially useful products containing P–O, P–S, or P–N bonds.