In view of concerns regarding economy, environment and sustainable energy, there is a constant need for the discovery of new catalytic reactions. The limited availability of precious metals, their high price, and their toxicity diminish their attractiveness and more economical and environmentally friendly alternatives have to be found. In this respect, the preparation of well-defined non-precious metal-based hydride catalysts of comparable or even higher activity is desirable. Iron and manganese are one of the most abundant transition metals in the earth crust, ubiquitously available, and thus ideal candidates for catalytic applications.
We describe here new families of Fe and Mn PNP pincer complexes which allow or block metal-ligand cooperation.[1,2] The application of the new complexes as catalysts for hydrogenation (enatioselective)/dehydrogenation reactions as well as the Z-selective dimerization and hydroboration of alkynes, respectively will be presented. This research is expected to generate fundamental understanding of new concepts in bond activation and may lead to efficient base metal catalysis of reactions formerly restricted to noble metals.
1. Gorgas, N.; Stöger, B.; Veiros, L. F.; Kirchner, K. ACS Catal. 2016, 6, 2664.
2. (a) Mastalir, M.; Glatz, M.; Gorgas, N.; Stöger, B.; Pittenauer, E.; Allmaier, G.; Veiros, L. F.; Kirchner, K. Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 12316. (b) Mastalir, M.; Glatz, M.; Pittenauer, E.; Allmaier, G.; Kirchner, K. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 15543.