[RuIII(amp)(bipy)(H2O)]+complex (1) has been synthesized and characterized by physico-chemical methods. The complex 1 is found to be an effective catalyst in the oxidation of benzene to phenol by using tert-butylhydroperoxide (t-BuOOH). A high valent Ru(V)-oxo species as catalytic intermediate formed in the reaction of 1 with t-BuOOH is proposed to be the source of oxygen atom in the oxidized product. A mechanism involving stacking of benzene followed by the O atom insertion seems to be operative in the formation of phenol from benzene. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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