AlIII complexes of amino-tris(phenolate) ligand scaffolds have been prepared to attain highly Lewis acidic catalysts. Combination of the aforementioned systems with ammonium halides provides highly active catalysts for the synthesis of organic carbonates through addition of carbon dioxide to oxiranes with initial turnover frequencies among the highest reported to date within the context of cyclic carbonate formation. Density functional theory (DFT) studies combined with kinetic data provides a rational for the relative high activity found for these AlIII complexes, and the data are consistent with a monometallic mechanism. The activity and versatility of these AlIII complexes has also been evaluated against some state-of-the-art catalysts and the combined results compare favorably in terms of catalyst construction, stability, activity, and applicability.
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