A well-defined (POCOP)Rh catalyst for the coupling of aryl halides with thiols. Academic Article uri icon


  • This article describes a well-defined pincer-Rh catalyst for C-S cross-coupling reactions. (POCOP)Rh(H)(Cl) serves as an active precatalyst for the coupling of aryl chlorides and bromides with aryl and alkyl thiols under reasonable conditions (3% mol cat., 110 °C, 2-24 h, >90% yield). For select substrates, >90% yields were obtained with catalyst loading as low as 0.1%. Key mechanistic intermediates have been isolated and fully characterized, including (POCOP)Rh(Ph)(SPh) (6a) and (POCOP)Rh(SPh2) (6b). The aryl/bis(phosphinite) (POCOP)Rh system has been shown to favor aryl thiolate reductive elimination at elevated temperatures and in some cases at room temperature, compared with the analogous diarylamido/bis(phosphine) (PNP)Rh pincer system. Concerted reductive elimination has been studied with 6a directly and in the presence of aryl bromide and aryl chloride traps. This investigation demonstrates a clear rate dependence on aryl chloride concentration during catalysis, a dependence that is absent when using aryl bromides. The rate of catalysis is dramatically reduced or brought to zero for ortho-tolyl halides, which can be traced to slower C-S coupling and slower carbon-halogen oxidative addition for ortho-substituted aryls. The influence of the sterics in the thiol component is less straightforward. The S-H oxidative addition product (POCOP)Rh(H)(SPh) (16) has been fully characterized and its reactivity has been examined, resulting in the isolation of the sodium-thiolate adduct (POCOP)Rh(NaSPh) (19). The solid-state structure of 19 shows Na interactions not only with sulfur, but also with a neighboring Rh and the chelating aryl carbon of the pincer framework. The reactivity of 16 and 19 indicates that these potential side products should not hinder catalysis.

author list (cited authors)

  • Timpa, S. D., Pell, C. J., & Ozerov, O. V

complete list of authors

  • Timpa, Samuel D||Pell, Christopher J||Ozerov, Oleg V

publication date

  • January 1, 2014 11:11 AM