Phosphorus-Alloying as a Powerful Method for Designing Highly Active and Durable Metal Nanoparticle Catalysts for the Deoxygenation of Sulfoxides: Ligand and Ensemble Effects of Phosphorus
H. Ishikawa, S. Yamaguchi, A. Nakata, K. Nakajima, S. Yamazoe, J. Yamasaki, T. Mizugaki, T. Mitsudome
JACS Au, in press.
The modification of metal nanoparticles (NPs) by incorporating additional metals is a key technique for developing novel catalysts. However, the effects of incorporating nonmetals into metal NPs have not been widely explored, particularly in the field of organic synthesis. In this study, we demonstrate that phosphorus (P)-alloying significantly increases the activity of precious metal NPs for the deoxygenation of sulfoxides into sulfides. In particular, ruthenium phosphide NPs exhibit an excellent catalytic activity and high durability against sulfur-poisoning, outperforming conventional catalysts. Various sulfoxides, including drug intermediates, were deoxygenated to sulfides with excellent yields. Detailed investigations into the structure-activity relationship revealed that P-alloying plays a dual role: it establishes a ligand effect on the electron transfer from Ru to P, facilitating the production of active hydrogen species, and has an ensemble effect on the formation of the Ru-P bond, preventing strong coordination with sulfide products. These effects combine to increase the catalytic performance of ruthenium phosphide NPs. These results demonstrate that P-alloying is an efficient method to improve the metal NP catalysis for diverse organic synthesis.