Light-Driven Reduction of Aromatic Olefins in Aqueous Media Catalysed by Aminopyridine Cobalt Complexes.

23 August 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


A catalytic system based on earth-abundant elements that efficiently hydrogenates aryl olefins using visible light as driving-force and H2O as the sole hydrogen atoms source is reported. The catalytic system involves a robust and well-defined aminopyridine cobalt complex and a heteroleptic Cu photoredox catalyst. The system shows the reduction of styrene in aqueous media with a remarkable selectivity (> 20000) versus water reduction (WR). Reactivity and mechanistic studies support the formation of a [Co-H] intermediate, which reacts as a hydrogen transfer agent (HAT). Synthetically useful deuterium-labelled compounds can be straightforwardly obtained by replacing H2O with D2O and using only catalysts based on earth-abundant elements. Moreover, the dual photocatalytic system and the photocatalytic conditions can be rationally designed to tune the selectivity for aryl olefin vs aryl ketone reduction; not only by changing the structural and electronic properties of the cobalt catalysts, but also by modifying the reduction properties of the light-harvesting system


Reduction chemistry
Artificial photosynthesis
Solar fine chemicals
Cobalt complexes


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