Small-molecule mimics of rieske oxygenases. Application to selective aliphatic C-H hydroxylation and olefin syn-dihydroxylation

Oxidations are an important kind of reactions which are traditionally performed using stoichiometric oxidants that generate a large amount of waste. Syn-dihydroxylation of alkenes is a paradigmatic example because it is a cornerstone reaction in organic synthesis that still relies in the use of heavy metal oxides, specially Os and Ru based oxides in catalytic amounts, but also KMnO4, in stoichiometric amounts. Acetonitrile and halogenated solvents are widely used solvents in these reactions because of their robust nature against oxidants. However, metal catalyzed oxidations in green solvents are basically unknown. Rieske oxygenases are nonheme iron enzymes that catalyzes the olefin cisdihydroxylation among other reactions. Is well know that the FeV(O)(OH) species play a key role as intermediates in arene dihydroxylation catalyzed by Rieske oxygenases. However, the inability to accumulate these intermediates in solution has thus far prevented their spectroscopic and chemical characterization. In this thesis, we were able to synthetizes an iron catalyst bearing a sterically encumbered tetradentate ligand. The steric demand of the ligand was envisioned as a key element to support a high catalytic activity by preventing bimolecular decomposition paths, and facilitating product release. This catalyst provides good to excellent yields of syn-diol products (up to 97% isolated yield) of a broad range of olefins ​
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