O,N,N-pincer ligand effects on oxidatively induced carbon-chlorine coupling reactions at palladium

The syntheses of two families of sterically tuneable O,N,N pro-ligands are reported, namely the 2-(phenyl-2'-ol)-6-imine-pyridines, 2-(C6H4-2'-OH),6-(CMe=NAr)C5H3N [Ar = 4-i-PrC6H4 (HL1(a)), 2,6-i-Pr2C6H3 (HL1(b))] and the 2-(phenyl-2'-ol)-6-(amino-prop-2-yl)pyridines, 2-(C6H4-2'-OH),6-(CMe2NHAr)C5H3N [Ar = 4-i-PrC6H4 (HL2(a)), 2,6-i-Pr2C6H3 (HL2(b))], using straightforward synthetic approaches and in reasonable overall yields. Interaction of HL1(a/c) and HL2(a/b) with palladium(II) acetate affords the O,N,N-pincer complexes, [{2-(C6H4-2'-O)-6-(CMe=NAr)C5H3N}Pd(OAc)] (Ar = 4-i-PrC6H4 (1a), 2,6-i-Pr2C6H3 (1b)) and [{2-(C6H4-2'-O)-6-(CMe2NHAr)C5H3N}Pd(OAc)] (Ar = 4-i-PrC6H4 (2a), 2,6-i-Pr2C6H3 (2b)), which can be readily converted to their chloride derivatives, [{2-(C6H4-2'-O)-6-(CMe=NAr)C5H3N}PdCl] (Ar = 4-i-PrC6H4 (3a), 2,6-i-Pr2C6H3 (3b)) and [{2-(C6H4-2'-O)-6-(CMe2NHAr)C5H3N}PdCl] (Ar = 4-i-PrC6H4 (4a), 2,6-i-Pr2C6H3 (4b)), respectively, on reaction with an aqueous sodium chloride solution. Treating each of 3a, 3b, 4a and 4b with two equivalents of di-p-tolyliodonium triflate at 100 °C in a toluene/acetonitrile mixture affords varying amounts of 4-chlorotoluene along with the 4-iodotoluene by-product with the conversions highly dependent on the steric and backbone properties of the pincer complex employed (viz. 4a > 3a > 4b > 3b); notably, the least sterically bulky and most flexible amine-containing 4a reaches 90% conversion to 4-chlorotoluene in 15 h as opposed to 17% for imine-containing 3b. In the case of 3a, the inorganic palladium species recovered from the reaction has been identified as the Pd(II) salt [{2-(C6H4-2'-O)-6-(CMe=N(4-i-PrC6H4)C5H3N}Pd(NCMe)][O3SCF3] (5a), which was independently prepared by the reaction of 3a with silver triflate in acetonitrile. Single crystal X-ray structures are reported for HL1(a), HL2(a), 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a and 5a.

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