We have successfully achieved the molybdenum hexacarbonyl [Mo(CO) 6] mediated desulfurization of thiols and disulfides. In this reaction, the sulfhydryl (SH) mercapto groups of aryl, benzyl, primary and secondary alkyl thiols, and S-S single bonds of disulfides can be removed. This reaction has high functional group tolerance and is not affected by steric hindrance. The results of the reactions in acetone-d 6 suggest that the sources of hydrogen in the thiol and disulfide desulfurizations are the hydrogen atom(s) of a sulfhydryl group and acetone (solvent), respectively, and that the desulfurization proceeds via the formation of an organomolybdenum species.
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