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Journal Article

An Adaptive Rhodium Catalyst to Control the Hydrogenation Network of Nitroarenes


Farès,  Christophe
Service Department Farès (NMR), Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Chugh, V., Chatterjee, B., Chang, W.-C., Cramer, H. H., Hindemith, C., Randel, H., et al. (2022). An Adaptive Rhodium Catalyst to Control the Hydrogenation Network of Nitroarenes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 61(36): e202205515. doi:10.1002/anie.202205515.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-FF5F-E
An adaptive catalytic system that provides control over the nitroarene hydrogenation network to prepare a wide range of aniline and hydroxylamine derivatives is presented. This system takes advantage of a delicate interplay between a rhodium(III) center and a Lewis acidic borane introduced in the secondary coordination sphere of the metal. The high chemoselectivity of the catalyst in the presence of various potentially vulnerable functional groups and its readiness to be deployed at a preparative scale illustrate its practicality. Mechanistic studies and density functional theory (DFT) methods were used to shed light on the mode of functioning of the catalyst and elucidate the origin of adaptivity. The competition for interaction with boron between a solvent molecule and a substrate was found crucial for adaptivity. When operating in THF, the reduction network stops at the hydroxylamine platform, whereas the reaction can be directed to the aniline platform in toluene.