What is it about?

Two ambient-stable palladium catalysts that efficiently catalyze the C-C bond formation were demonstrated. After the NHC-PdCl2-P(tolyl)2(OH) (the lock) catalyst is deprotonated by base (the key), the remarkable capability of catalysis is released and tuned by the size of alkali cations. A new lock-and-key strategy is firstly reported for further development of palladium catalysts.

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Why is it important?

Two highly effective palladium catalysts were designed and successfully synthesized. We proposed an activating mechanism for the ambient-stable precatalysts, NHC-PdCl2-PR2(OH), with experimental and theoretical evidence. Our significant finding is that the remarkably effective active species is anionic Pd(0)-PR2(O-) via the unexpected dissociation of a strong NHC ligand. This work may spur the use of deprotonatable phosphinous acid as auxiliary ligand in catalysis.


It is exciting to show that the reported catalysts are extremely effective toward Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reactions. To our delight, the study includes the synergy between synthesis, instrumental analysis, and quantum-mechanical calculations. The lock-and-key concept for catalyst design is original and interesting.

Yu-Chang Chang
Providence University

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This page is a summary of: Reactivity‐Tunable Palladium Precatalysts with Favorable Catalytic Properties in Suzuki–Miyaura Cross‐Coupling Reactions, ChemCatChem, July 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202200736.
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