Ru(NO)-salen complexes were found to catalyze asymmetric aerobic oxygen atom transfer reactions such as sulfide oxidation and epoxidation in the presence of water under visible light irradiation at room temperature. Oxidation of sulfides including alkyl aryl sulfides and 2-substituted 1,3-dithianes using complex 2 as the catalyst proceeded with moderate to high enantioselectivity of up to 98% ee, and epoxidation of conjugated olefins using complex 3 as the catalyst proceeded with good to high enantioselectivity of 76-92% ee. Unlike biological oxygen atom transfer reactions that need a proton and electron transfer system, this aerobic oxygen atom transfer reaction requires neither such a system nor a sacrificial reductant. Although the mechanism of this oxidation has not been completely clarified, some experimental results support the notion that an aqua ligand coordinated with the ruthenium ion serves as a proton transfer agent for the oxygen activation process, and it is recycled and used as the proton transfer mediator during the process. Thus, we have achieved catalytic asymmetric oxygen atom transfer reaction using molecular oxygen that can be carried out under ambient conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry