The dehydrogenation of cyclohexanones affords cyclohexenones or phenols via removal of 1 or 2 equiv of H2, respectively. We recently reported several PdII catalyst systems that effect aerobic dehydrogenation of cyclohexanones with different product selectivities. Pd(DMSO) 2(TFA)2 is unique in its high chemoselectivity for the conversion of cyclohexanones to cyclohexenones, without promoting subsequent dehydrogenation of cyclohexenones to phenols. Kinetic and mechanistic studies of these reactions reveal the key role of the dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) ligand in controlling this chemoselectivity. DMSO has minimal kinetic influence on the rate of Pd(TFA)2-catalyzed dehydrogenation of cyclohexanone to cyclohexenone, while it strongly inhibits the second dehydrogenation step, conversion of cyclohexenone to phenol. These contrasting kinetic effects of DMSO provide the basis for chemoselective formation of cyclohexenones.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry