© 2014 Bentham Science Publishers. BINOL-based diphosphite ligands containing oxygen or nitrogen heteroatoms are currently a new class of promising ligands for homogeneous catalysis. Herein we present a useful strategy to synthesize ditopic (R)-BINOL-based diphosphites, containing pyridyl or propyl ether bridges between BINOL fragments in high isolated yields (50-92 %). Their rhodium complexes were evaluated in styrene hydroformylation, in which a moderate regioselectivity for the branched aldehyde was observed. The addition of a lithium salt led to a significant increase in the regioselectivity (25 %) for the branched aldehyde. This interesting observation has been rationalized based on a full two-level factorial design with 3 factors, including pressure, temperature and the Li/Rh ratio, using Rh/10 as model catalyst. The improvement of the regioselectivity in the presence of lithium salts has been interpreted through31PNMR spectroscopy and semiempirical PM6 computational studies.
- Lithium ion