Magnetic Catalytic

Magnetic Catalytic

Author: David Bradley

Suzuki and Heck cross-coupling reactions are important steps in synthetic organic chemistry. There are usually issues with the efficiency and recyclability of catalysts for these reactions, that degrade their “green credentials”.

Wei Yu and colleagues at Lanzhou University, China, have developed a novel heterogeneous catalyst by affixing palladium(II) to a microgel comprising poly(undecylenic acid-co-N-isopropylacrylamide-co-potassium 4-acryloxyoylpyridine-2,6-dicarboxylate)-coated iron(III) oxide (Fe3O4@PUNP). The system not only improves catalytic efficiency in aqueous solution, but because it contains iron it is magnetic and can be retrieved from the reaction vessel and can be easily recycled. The team demonstrated that the catalyst can be used six times consecutively without degradation of performance.

Additionally, palladium-catalyzed Suzuki and Heck reactions normally require volatile organic solvents, the team’s demonstration of efficacy in water adds to the “green” nature of this work significantly.

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