TMEDA in Iron‐Catalyzed Hydromagnesiation: Formation of Iron(II)‐Alkyl Species for Controlled Reduction to Alkene‐Stabilized Iron(0)

Peter G N Neate, Mark D. Greenhalgh, William W. Brennessel, Stephen P Thomas, Michael L. Neidig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

N,N,N′,N′‐Tetramethylethylenediamine (TMEDA) has been one of the most prevalent and successful additives used in iron catalysis, finding application in reactions as diverse as cross‐coupling, C−H activation, and borylation. However, the role that TMEDA plays in these reactions remains largely undefined. Herein, studying the iron‐catalyzed hydromagnesiation of styrene derivatives using TMEDA has provided molecular‐level insight into the role of TMEDA in achieving effective catalysis. The key is the initial formation of TMEDA–iron(II)–alkyl species which undergo a controlled reduction to selectively form catalytically active styrene‐stabilized iron(0)–alkyl complexes. While TMEDA is not bound to the catalytically active species, these active iron(0) complexes cannot be accessed in the absence of TMEDA. This mode of action, allowing for controlled reduction and access to iron(0) species, represents a new paradigm for the role of this important reaction additive in iron catalysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17070-17076
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Volume59
Issue number39
Early online date28 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020

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