Ketone Hydrogenation with Iridium Complexes with "non N-H" Ligands: The Key Role of the Strong Base

Joseph M. Hayes, Eric Deydier, Gregori Ujaque, Agustí Lledós, Raluca Malacea-Kabbara, Eric Manoury, Sandrine Vincendeau, Rinaldo Poli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 American Chemical Society. Ferrocenyl phosphine thioether ligands (PS), not containing deprotonatable functions, efficiently support the iridium catalyzed ketone hydrogenation in combination with a strong base cocatalyst. Use of an internal base ([Ir(OMe)(COD)] 2 in place of [IrCl(COD)] 2 ) is not sufficient to ensure activity and a strong base is still necessary, suggesting that the active catalyst is an anionic hydride complex. Computational investigations that include solvent effects demonstrate the thermodynamically accessible generation of the tetrahydrido complex [IrH 4 (PS)] - and suggest an operating cycle via a [Na + (MeOH) 3 ⋯Ir - H 4 (PS)] contact ion pair with an energy span of 18.2 kcal/mol. The cycle involves an outer sphere stepwise H - /H + transfer, the proton originating from H 2 after coordination and heterolytic activation. The base plays the dual role of generating the anionic complex and providing the Lewis acid cocatalyst for ketone activation. The best cycle for the neutral system, on the other hand, requires an energy span of 26.3 kcal/mol. This work highlights, for the first time, the possibility of outer sphere hydrogenation in the presence of non deprotonatable ligands and the role of the strong base in the activation of catalytic systems with such type of ligands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4368-4376
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2015


  • bifunctional ligands
  • catalyzed transfer hydrogenation
  • DFT calculations
  • effect of strong base
  • iridium


Dive into the research topics of 'Ketone Hydrogenation with Iridium Complexes with "non N-H" Ligands: The Key Role of the Strong Base'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this