Unraveling the origin of regioselectivity in rhodium diphosphine catalyzed hydroformylation. A DFT QM/MM study

J. J. Carbó, F. Maseras, C. Bo, P. W.N.M. van Leeuwen

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Abstract

The origin of regioselectivity in rhodium diphosphine catalyzed hydroformilation was investigated by means of hybrid QM/MM calculations using the IMOMM method. The roles of the diphosphine bite angle and of the nonbonding interactions were analyzed in detail by considering rhodium systems containing xantphos-type ligands, for which a correlation between the natural bite angle and regioselectivity has been recently reported. From the pentacoordinated equatorial-equatorial HRh(CO)(alkene)(diphosphine) key intermediate, eight possible reaction paths were defined and characterized through their respective transition states (TS). We succeeded in reproducing the experimentally observed trends for the studied diphosphines. By performing additional calculations on model systems, in which the steric effects induced by the phenyl substituents of xantphos ligands were canceled, we were able to separate, identify, and evaluate the different contributions to regioselectivity. These additional calculations showed that regioselectivity is governed by the nonbonding interactions between the diphenylphosphino substituents and the substrate, whereas the effects directly associated to the bite angle, what we call orbital effects, seem to have a smaller influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7630-7637
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume123
Issue number31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2001

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