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General Catalyst Control of the Monoisomerization of 1‑Alkenes to trans-2-Alkenes

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2014 by Casey R. Larsen, Gulin Erdogan, Douglas B. Grotjahn
After searching for the proper catalyst, the dual challenges of controlling the position of the double bond, and cis/trans-selectivity in isomerization of terminal alkenes to their 2-isomers are finally met in a general sense by mixtures of (C5Me5)Ru complexes 1 and 3 featuring a bifunctional phosphine. Typically, catalyst loadings of 1 mol % of 1 and 3 can be employed for the production of (E)-2-alkenes at 40–70 °C. Catalyst comprising 1 and 3 avoids more than any other known example the thermodynamic equilibration of alkene isomers, as the trans-2-alkenes of both nonfunctionalized and functionalized alkenes are generated.