Ligands for Iron-based Homogeneous Catalysts for the Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Ketones and Imines

Demyan E. Prokopchuk, Samantha A.M. Smith, Robert H. Morris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


A current endeavor in research is the replacement of expensive and rare platinum group metal homogeneous catalysts with those of earth abundant metals such as iron, cobalt, nickel and zinc. In order for these cheaper metals to achieve comparable activity with conventional industrial catalysts, they must be activated by suitable ligands. These often offer a site of reactivity for substrate activation in addition to tuning the electronic properties of the metal and controlling the stereochemistry around the metal. Catalysis that is thought to exploit this extra point of reactivity at the ligand is termed metal-ligand bifunctional catalysis or metal-ligand cooperative catalysis. This chapter describes the design elements for ligands required to activate iron(II) so that the resulting complexes can serve for the first time as effective catalysts for the asymmetric reduction of ketones and imines, either by asymmetric transfer hydrogenation (ATH) from isopropanol solvent or asymmetric direct hydrogenation (ADH) using hydrogen gas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLigand Design in Metal Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationReactivity and Catalysis
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781118839621
ISBN (Print)9781118839836
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


  • Amine
  • Asymmetric catalysis
  • Green chemistry
  • Hydride
  • Hydrogenation
  • Iron
  • Ketone
  • Phosphine


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