Room temperature aerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons is highly desirable and remains a great challenge. Here we report a series of highly electrophilic cobalt(III) alkylperoxo complexes, CoIII(qpy)OOR supported by a planar tetradentate quaterpyridine ligand that can directly abstract H atoms from hydrocarbons (R′H) at ambient conditions (CoIII(qpy)OOR + R′H → CoII(qpy) + R′• + ROOH). The resulting alkyl radical (R′•) reacts rapidly with O2 to form alkylperoxy radical (R′OO•), which is efficiently scavenged by CoII(qpy) to give CoIII(qpy)OOR′ (CoII(qpy) + R′OO• → CoIII(qpy)OOR′). This unique reactivity enables CoIII(qpy)OOR to function as efficient catalysts for aerobic peroxidation of hydrocarbons (R′H + O2 → R′OOH) under 1 atm air and at room temperature.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry