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Fast Olefin Metathesis: Synthesis of 2-Aryloxy-Substituted Hoveyda-Type Complexes and Application in Ring-Closing Metathesis



Four 1-(4-R-phenoxy)-2-ethenylbenzenes (R=NMe2, H, Cl, NO2) 4a, 4b, 4c and 4d were reacted with the ruthenium complexes [RuCl2(NHC)(3-phenylindenylidene)(py)] in the presence of a protic resin to result in the formation of the respective Hoveyda-type complexes 5a–d {NHC=SIMes [1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenylimidazolin)-2-ylidene]} and 6a–d {NHC=SIPr [1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenylimidazolin)-2-ylidene]} in 66–84% yield. The lower steric bulk and the decreased donation of the diaryl ether oxygen atoms in complexes 5 and 6 led to rapidly initiating precatalysts. The Ru(II/III) redox potentials of complexes 6 were determined (6a–d: ΔE=0.89–1.08 V). In the crystal structure of 5b two independent molecules were observed in the unit cell, displaying Ru[BOND]O distances of 226.6(4) and 230.5(3) pm. The catalytic performance of complexes 5 and 6 in various ring-closing metathesis (RCM) reactions was studied. Catalyst loadings of between 15–200 ppm are sufficient for the formation of >90% yield of the respective cyclic products. Complex 6b catalyzes the formation of N-protected 2,5-dihydropyrroles with up to TON 64,000 and TOF 256,000 h−1, of the N-protected 1,2,3,6- tetrahydropyridines with up to TON 18,200 and TOF 73,000 h−1 and of the N-protected 2,3,6,7-tetrahydroazepines with up to TON 8,100 and TOF 32,000 h−1 with yields ranging between 77 and 96%.

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