Earth-Abundant Metal Catalysis

Transition metal-catalyzed direct conversion of inert C-H bonds into C-C and C–heteroatom bonds has attracted considerable attention of chemists as a straightforward and economical approach for the synthesis of functional molecules including drugs, agrochemicals, and organic materials. Nonetheless, the majority of catalysts used for this purpose have been based on precious transition metals, while more abundant first- row transition metals have been relatively underutilized. Our group has initiated a program on C–H activation with low-valent cobalt catalysts, which has culminated in a series of cobalt-based catalysts for C–H functionalization and related transformations. These catalysts not only serve as cost-effective alternatives to precious metal catalysts but also exhibit unique and useful reactivity and selectivity not attainable by other means.

Selected Publications

Wang, C.-S.; Di Monaco, S.; Thai, A. N.; Wang, C.; Yoshikai, N. Cobalt/Lewis Acid Catalysis for Hydrocarbofunctionalization of Alkynes via Cooperative C–H Activation. ChemRxiv 2020, DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.11760519.v1.

Ding, W.; Yoshikai, N. Cobalt-Catalyzed Intermolecular [2+2] Cycloaddition between Alkynes and Allenes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 2500-2504.

Wu, C.; Yoshikai, N. Cobalt-Catalyzed Intramolecular Reactions between a Vinylcyclopropane and an Alkyne: Switchable [5+2] Cycloaddition and Homo-Ene Pathways. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 6558-6562.

Yang, J.; Rérat, A.; Lim, Y. J.; Gosmini, C.; Yoshikai, N. Cobalt-Catalyzed Enantio- and Diastereoselective Hydroacylation of Trisubstituted Alkenes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 2449-2453.

Gao, K.; Yoshikai, N. Low-Valent Cobalt Catalysis: New Opportunities for C–H Functionalization. Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 1208-1219.