Research & Teaching Faculty

N,O-Chelating Four-Membered Metallacyclic Titanium(IV) Complexes for Atom-Economic Catalytic Reactions

TitleN,O-Chelating Four-Membered Metallacyclic Titanium(IV) Complexes for Atom-Economic Catalytic Reactions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRyken, SA, Schafer, LL
JournalAccounts of Chemical Research
Date PublishedSEP

CONSPECTUS: Titanium, as the second most abundant transition metal in the earth's crust, lends itself as a sustainable and inexpensive resource in catalysis. Its nontoxicity and biocompatibility are also attractive features for handling and disposal. Titanium has excelled as a catalyst for a broad range of transformations, including ethylene and alpha-olefin polymerizations. However, many reactions relevant to fine chemical synthesis have preferrentially employed late transition metals, and reactive, inexpensive early transition metals have been largely overlooked. In addition to promising reactivity, titanium complexes feature more robust character compared with some other highly Lewis-acidic metals such as those found in the lanthanide series. Since the advent of modulating ligand scaffolds, titanium has found use in a growing variety of reactions as a versatile homogeneous catalyst. These catalytic transformations include hydrofunctionalization reactions (adding an element hydrogen (E-H) bond across a C-C multiple bond), as well as the ring-opening polymerization of cyclic esters, all of which are atom-economic transformations. Our investigations have focused on tight bite angle monoanionic N,O-chelating ligands, forming four-membered metallacycles. These ligand sets, including amidates, ureates, pyridonates, and sulfonamidates, have flexible binding modes offering a range of stable and reactive intermediates necessary for catalytic activity. Additionally, the simple form of these ligands leads to easily prepared proligands, along with facile tuning of steric and electronic factors. A sterically bulky titanium amidate complex has proven to be a leading catalyst for the selective formation of anti-Markovnikov addition products via intermolecular hydroamination of terminal alkynes, while sterically less demanding titanium pyridonates have opened the path to the selective formation of amine substituted cycloalkanes via the intramolecular hydroaminoalkylation of aminoalkenes over the competing hydroamination pathway. Sulfonamidates have boosted reactivity for hydrofunctionalization and polymerization reactions compared with amide ligands not bearing a sulfonyl group. N,O-Chelated titanium complexes have been used to synthesize ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene and have been utilized in the challenging task of realizing equal incorporation of two different cyclic esters in a random ring-opening copolymerization. These discrete complexes have allowed for careful study of fundamental coordination chemistry and stoichiometric organometallic investigations. With inexpensive starting materials and modular ligands, titanium N,O-chelated complexes are well-suited to address the challenges of achieving greener chemical processes while accessing useful reaction manifolds for sustainable synthesis.