Ionic Transformations in Extremely Nonpolar Fluorous Media: Easily Recoverable Phase‐Transfer Catalysts for Halide‐Substitution Reactions Academic Article uri icon


  • Solutions of the fluorous alkyl halides R(f8)(CH(2))(m)X (R(fn)=(CF(2))(n-1)CF(3); m=2, 3; X=Cl, Br, I) in perfluoromethylcyclohexane or perfluoromethyldecalin are inert towards solid or aqueous NaCl, NaBr, KI, KCN, and NaOAc. However, halide substitution occurs in the presence of fluorous phosphonium salts (R(f8)(CH(2))(2))(R(f6)(CH(2))(2))(3)P(+)X(-) (X=I (1), Br (3)) and (R(f8)(CH(2))(2))(4)P(+)I(-) (10 mol %), which are soluble in the fluorous solvents under the reaction conditions (76-100 degrees C). Stoichiometric reactions of a) 1 with R(f8)(CH(2))(2)Br and b) 3 with R(f8)(CH(2))(2)I were conducted under homogenous conditions in perfluoromethyldecalin at 100 degrees C and yielded the same R(f8)(CH(2))(2)I/R(f8)(CH(2))(2)Br equilibrium ratio ( approximately 60:40). This shows that ionic displacements can take place in extremely nonpolar fluorous phases and suggests a classical phase-transfer mechanism for the catalyzed reactions. Interestingly, the nonfluorous salt (CH(3)(CH(2))(11))(CH(3)(CH(2))(7))(3)P(+)I(-) (4) also catalyzes halide substitutions, but under triphasic conditions with 4 suspended between the lower fluorous and upper aqueous layers. NMR experiments established very low solubilities in both phases, which suggests interfacial catalysis. Catalyst 1 is easily recycled, optimally by simple precipitation onto teflon tape.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mandal, D., Jurisch, M., Consorti, C. S., & Gladysz, J. A.

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • October 2008