Four benzoferrocenyl phosphorus chiral ligands were conveniently prepared in good overall yields. These ligands were found to be stable in solid form and in solution. Two of the four ligands were resolved by chiral HPLC. Unlike a reported bis(phosphino-η5-indenyl)iron(II) complex, in which the indenyl ligands undergo ring flipping through an η1-intermediate, these two ligands were found to be configurationally stable in solution and in solid state. The suitability of these ligands for enantioselective catalysis was assessed in studies on allylic alkylation reactions. When the two less sterically hindered ligands were used, excellent chemical yields were obtained, but the other two more sterically hindered ones gave lower yields. When the two enantiopure ligands were used, enantioselectivity of up to 51% ee was observed. These findings suggest that benzoferrocene derivatives may be used as chiral ligands for asymmetric catalysis. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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