Distinguishing between surface and solution catalysis for palladium catalyzed C-C coupling reactions: use of selective poisons

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Richardson, John Michael
Jones, Christopher W.
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This work focuses on understanding the heterogeneous/homogeneous nature of the catalytic species for a variety of immobilized metal precatalysts used for C-C coupling reactions. These precatalysts include: (i) tethered organometallic palladium pincer complexes, (ii) an encapsulated small molecule palladium complex in a polymer matrix, (iii) mercapto-modified mesoporous silica metalated with palladium acetate, and (iv) amino-functionalized mesoporous silicas metalated with Ni(II). As part of this investigation, the use of metal scavengers as selective poisons of homogeneous catalysis is introduced and investigated as a test for distinguishing heterogeneous from homogeneous catalysis. The premise of this test is that insoluble materials functionalized with metal binding sites can be used to selectively remove soluble metal, but will not interfere with catalysis from immobilized metal. In this way the test can definitely distinguish between surface and solution catalysis of immobilized metal precatalysts. This work investigates three different C-C coupling reactions catalyzed by the immobilized metal precatalysts mentioned above. These reactions include the Heck, Suzuki, and Kumada reactions. In all cases it is found that catalysis is solely from leached metal. Three different metal scavenging materials are presented as selective poisons that can be used to determine solution vs. surface catalysis. These selective poisons include poly(vinylpyridine), QuadrapureTM TU, and thiol-functionalized mesoporous silica. The results are contrasted against the current understanding of this field of research and subtleties of tests for distinguishing homogeneous from heterogeneous catalysis are presented and discussed.
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