Three types of ruthenium(II) N-confused porphyrin (NCP) complexes bearing an axial 2-thiopyridine, 2-pyridone, and 2-iminopyridine moiety at the inner carbon atom, respectively, were synthesized. The unique reactivity of the 2-substituted pyridine derivatives (2-X-pyridine; X=SH, OH, NH2) toward the inner carbon atom of the NCP allows the formation of two types of coordinated products (i. e., pyridine donor versus 2-heteroatom donors), as inferred from single-crystal X-ray structures. The selective reactivity was investigated by using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Finally, the catalytic activity of these ruthenium complexes was demonstrated through the styrene oxidation reactions. As a result, the ruthenium(II) NCP complex bearing a 2-thiopyridine moiety, together with aqueous H2O2 as an oxidant showed the highest selectivity for benzaldehyde (benzaldehyde/styrene oxide=20 : 1).
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