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Towards deeper understanding of multifaceted chemistry of magnesium alkylperoxides
Communications Chemistry  (IF6.581),  Pub Date : 2021-08-25, DOI: 10.1038/s42004-021-00560-9
Pietrzak, Tomasz, Justyniak, Iwona, Zelga, Karolina, Nowak, Krzysztof, Ochal, Zbigniew, Lewiński, Janusz

Despite considerable progress in the multifaceted chemistry of non-redox-metal alkylperoxides, the knowledge about magnesium alkylperoxides is in its infancy and only started to gain momentum. Harnessing the well-defined dimeric magnesium tert-butylperoxide [(f5BDI)Mg(μ-η21-OOtBu)]2 incorporating a fluorinated β-diketiminate ligand, herein, we demonstrate its transformation at ambient temperature to a spiro-type, tetranuclear magnesium alkylperoxide [(f5BDI)2Mg4(μ-OOtBu)6]. The latter compound was characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and its molecular structure can formally be considered as a homoleptic magnesium tert-butylperoxide [Mg(µ-OOtBu)2]2 terminated by two monomeric magnesium tert-butylperoxides. The formation of the tetranuclear magnesium alkylperoxide not only contradicts the notion of the high instability of magnesium alkylperoxides, but also highlights that there is much to be clarified with respect to the solution behaviour of these species. Finally, we probed the reactivity of the dimeric alkylperoxide in model oxygen transfer reactions like the commonly invoked metathesis reaction with the parent alkylmagnesium and the catalytic epoxidation of trans-chalcone with tert-butylhydroperoxide as an oxidant. The results showed that the investigated system is among the most active known catalysts for the epoxidation of enones.