The quest for new metal organic reagents for use in organic synthesis and catalysis presents one of the greatest contemporary challenges in the chemical, and especially pharmaceutical industry. Among the metals involved, scandium, yttrium and the lanthanides (Ln) are among the most actively studied, by virtue of their varying reactivity, selectivity and environmentally friendly character. Japanese and USA groups are among the most actively engaged, but in Europe the groups of Professor Lappert and Professor Hubert-Pfalzgraf are prominent leaders.
We propose to build on recent work (Lappert, et al.) on a new set of ligands, the B-diketiminates and 1-aza-allyls as spectator ligands in Sc, Y and Ln chemistry to gain access to several classes of new lipophilic complexes of these metals, which will be exploited as homogeneous reagents and catalysts for olefin and paraffin functionalisation.
The results may have industrial significance, as well as being of fundamental importance.