Selective activation of alkyl- and aryl-oxygen single bonds in solution with transition metal complexes

Milko van der Boom, S. Y. Liou, Y. Ben-David, A. Vigalok, David Milstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)


An unprecedented metal insertion into the strong sp2-sp3 aryl-O bond to form 2 is observed for the reaction of [{RhCl(C8H14)}2] (C8H14= cyclooctene) with two equivalents of the aryl ether phosphane 1. This reaction proceeds directly, even at room temperature, with no rhodium insertion into the adjacent weaker ArO-CH3 bond. However, the alkyl-O bond is activated by the reaction of 1 with [Pd-(CF3CO2)2] to give 3. Selectivity of C-O activation can therefore be directed by choice of metal complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-626
Number of pages2
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997



  • C-O activation
  • homogenous catalysis
  • insertions
  • palladium
  • rhodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this