Selective sulfoxidation of thioethers and thioaryl boranes with nitrate, promoted by a molybdenum-copper catalytic system

Hanit Marom, Svetlana Antonov, Yanay Popowski, Michael Gozin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The catalytic reduction of nitrate by molybdo-enzymes plays a central role in the global biological cycle of nitrogen. However, the use of nitrates as oxidants in synthetic organic chemistry is very limited and typically requires very strong acidic and other extreme reaction conditions. We have developed a highly chemoselective and efficient catalytic process for the sulfoxidation of thioethers and arylthioethers containing boronic acid or boronic ester functional groups, using nitrate salts as oxidants. This homogeneous catalytic reaction was carried out in acetonitrile, where the MoO2Cl 2(OPPh3)2 complex 1 or a mixture of complex 1 with Cu(NO3)2 were used as catalysts. We examined the reaction mechanism using 1H, 15N, and 31P NMR techniques and 18O-labeled sodium nitrate (NaN18O 3) and show that the thioethers are oxidized by nitrate, generating nitrite. Our work adds to the existing chemical transformations available for organoboron compounds, providing straightforward accessibility to a variety of new substrates that could be suitable for Suzuki cross-coupling chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5240-5246
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Volume76
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011

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