Mechanistic Investigations of the Catalytic Formation of Lactams from Amines and Water with Liberation of H2

Urs Gellrich, Julia R. Khusnutdinova, Gregory M. Leitus, David Milstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism of the unique lactam formation from amines and water with concomitant H2 liberation with no added oxidant, catalyzed by a well-defined acridine-based ruthenium pincer complex was investigated in detail by both experiment and DFT calculations. The results show that a dearomatized form of the initial complex is the active catalyst. Furthermore, reversible imine formation was shown to be part of the catalytic cycle. Water is not only the oxygen atom source but also acts as a cocatalyst for the H2 liberation, enabled by conformational flexibility of the acridine-based pincer ligand. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4851-4859
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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