Chelucci, Giorgio Adolfo and Baldino, Salvatore and Baratta, Walter (2015) Recent advances in Osmium-catalyzed hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions. Accounts of chemical research, Vol. 48 (2), p. 363-379. ISSN 0001-4842. eISSN 1520-4898. Article.
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A current issue in metal-catalyzed reactions is the search for highly efficient transition-metal complexes affording high productivity and selectivity in a variety of processes. Moreover, there is also a great interest in multitasking catalysts that are able to efficiently promote different organic transformations by careful switching of the reaction parameters, such as temperature, solvent, and cocatalyst. In this context, osmium complexes have shown the ability to catalyze efficiently different types of reactions involving hydrogen, proving at the same time high thermal stability and simple synthesis. In the catalytic reduction of C═X (X = O, N) bonds by both hydrogenation (HY) and transfer hydrogenation (TH) reactions, the most interest has been focused on homogeneous systems based on rhodium, iridium, and in particular ruthenium catalysts, which have proved to catalyze chemo- and stereoselective hydrogenations with remarkable efficiency. By contrast, osmium catalysts have received much less attention because they are considered less active on account of their slower ligand exchange kinetics. Thus, this area remained almost neglected until recent studies refuted these prejudices. The aim of this Account is to highlight the impressive developments achieved over the past few years by our and other groups on the design of new classes of osmium complexes and their applications in homogeneous catalytic reactions involving the hydrogenation of carbon–oxygen and carbon–nitrogen bonds by both HY and TH reactions as well as in alcohol deydrogenation (DHY) reactions. The work described in this Account demonstrates that osmium complexes are emerging as powerful catalysts for asymmetric and non-asymmetric syntheses, showing a remarkably high catalytic activity in HY and TH reactions of ketones, aldehydes, imines, and esters as well in DHY reactions of alcohols. Thus, for instance, the introduction of ligands with an NH function, possibly in combination with a pyridine ring, led to a new family of [OsCl2(PP)(NN)] (NN = diamine, 2-aminomethylpyridine; PP = diphosphine) and pincer [OsCl(CNN)(PP)] (HCNN = 6-aryl-2-aminomethylpyridine, 2-aminomethylbenzo[h]quinoline) complexes, which are outstanding catalysts for (asymmetric) HY and TH of carbonyl compounds and DHY of alcohols with turnover numbers and turnover frequencies up to 105 and 106 h–1, respectively. In addition, PNN osmium complexes containing the 2-aminomethylpyridine motif have been found to be among the most active catalysts for HY of esters. These complexes have shown catalytic activities that are comparable and in some cases superior to those reported for analogous ruthenium systems. These results give an idea of the potential of Os complexes for the design of new highly productive and robust catalysts for the synthesis of chiral and nonchiral alcohols and amines as well as ketones from alcohols. Thus, we hope that this report will promote increased interest in the chemistry of these metal complexes, opening novel opportunities for new catalytic processes as well as the improvement of existing ones.
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