Iron Catalyzed Double Bond Isomerization: Evidence for an FeI/FeIII Catalytic Cycle

Callum R Woof, Derek J Durand, Natalie Fey*, Emma Richards*, Ruth L Webster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Iron-catalyzed isomerization of alkenes is reported using an iron(II) β-diketiminate pre-catalyst. The reaction proceeds with a catalytic amount of a hydride source, such as pinacol borane (HBpin) or ammonia borane (H 3 N·BH 3 ). Reactivity with both allyl arenes and aliphatic alkenes has been studied. The catalytic mechanism was investigated by a variety of means, including deuteration studies, Density Functional Theory (DFT) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The data obtained support a pre-catalyst activation step that gives access to an η 2 -coordinated alkene Fe(I) complex, followed by oxidative addition of the alkene to give an Fe(III) intermediate, which then undergoes reductive elimination to allow release of the isomerization product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5972-5977
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number19
Early online date15 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • isomerization
  • redox chemistry
  • iron
  • reaction mechanism
  • homogeneous catalysis


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