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Journal Article

ɑ-Cationic Phosphines: Synthesis and Applications


Alcarazo,  Manuel
Research Group Alcarazo, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Alcarazo, M. (2014). ɑ-Cationic Phosphines: Synthesis and Applications. Chemistry - A European Journal, 20(26), 7868-7877. doi:10.1002/chem.201402375.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-0806-0
In coordination chemistry, typical ancillary ligands are anionic or neutral species. Cationic ones are exceptions and, when used, the positively charged groups are normally attached to the periphery and not close to the donating atom. However, this concept article highlights a series of recent experimental, as well as theoretical results, suggesting that the utility in catalysis of cationic phosphines with no spacer between the phosphorus atom and the positively charged group(s) has been largely overlooked. In fact, a growing number of studies indicate that, because of their specific architecture, these cationic ligands depict excellent π-acceptor character that can exceed that of phosphites or polyfluorinated phosphines. This property has been used to increase the Lewis acidity of the metals they coordinate. Specifically, new extreme π-acid catalysts, mainly based on PtII and AuI, have been recently prepared and their superior performance demonstrated along several mechanistically distinct transformations. In this concept article the current state of the art is critically assessed and possible future directions of the topic discussed.