Efficient and versatile catalysis for β-alkylation of secondary alcohols through hydrogen auto transfer process with newly designed ruthenium(II) complexes containing ON donor aldazine ligands
A new series of ruthenium(II) carbonyl complexes, [RuCl(CO)(EPh3)2(L1-2)] (1–4) (E = P or As; H2L1 = salicylaldazine, H2L2 = 2-hydroxynaphthaldazine), have been assembled from ruthenium(II) precursors [RuHCl(CO)(EPh3)3] and bidentate ON donor Schiff base ligands (H2L1-2). Both ligands and their new ruthenium(II) complexes have been characterized by elemental analyses, spectroscopic methods (UV, IR, NMR (1H, 13C, 31P) as well as ESI mass spectrometry. The molecular structures of H2L1 and 1 have been confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Based on the above studies, an octahedral coordination geometry around the metal center has been proposed for 1–4. To investigate the catalytic effectiveness of 1–4, the complexes have been used as catalysts in β-alkylation of secondary alcohols with primary alcohols and synthesis of quinolines. The effect of solvent, time, base, catalyst loading, and substituent of the ligand moiety on the reaction was studied. Notably, 1 was a more efficient catalyst toward alkylation of a wide range of alcohols and quinolines synthesis. The reusability of the catalyst was checked and the results showed up to six catalytic runs without significant loss of activity.