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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Stoichiometric and catalytic oxygen activation by trimesityliridium(III).

Trimesityliridium(III) (mesityl = 2,4,6-trimethylphenyl) reacts with O(2) to form oxotrimesityliridium(V), (mes)(3)Ir=O, in a reaction that is cleanly second order in iridium. In contrast to initial reports by Wilkinson, there is no evidence for substantial accumulation of an intermediate in this reaction. The oxo complex (mes)(3)Ir=O oxidizes triphenylphosphine to triphenylphosphine oxide in a second-order reaction with DeltaH++ = 10.04 +/- 0.16 kcal/ mol and DeltaS++ = -21.6 +/- 0.5 cal/(mol.K) in 1,2-dichloroethane. Triphenylarsine is also oxidized, though over an order of magnitude more slowly. Ir(mes)(3) binds PPh(3) reversibly (K(assoc) = 84 +/- 3 M(-1) in toluene at 20 degrees C) to form an unsymmetrical, sawhorse-shaped four-coordinate complex, whose temperature-dependent NMR spectra reveal a variety of dynamic processes. Oxygen atom transfer from (mes)(3)Ir=O and dioxygen activation by (mes)(3)Ir can be combined to allow catalytic aerobic oxidations of triphenylphosphine at room temperature and atmospheric pressure with overall activity (approximately 60 turnovers/h) comparable to the fastest reported catalysts. A kinetic model that uses the rates measured for dioxygen activation, atom transfer, and phosphine binding describes the observed catalytic behavior well. Oxotrimesityliridium does not react with sulfides, sulfoxides, alcohols, or alkenes, apparently for kinetic reasons.[1]


  1. Stoichiometric and catalytic oxygen activation by trimesityliridium(III). Jacobi, B.G., Laitar, D.S., Pu, L., Wargocki, M.F., DiPasquale, A.G., Fortner, K.C., Schuck, S.M., Brown, S.N. Inorganic chemistry. (2002) [Pubmed]
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