Cobalt(II)-Catalyzed Stereoselective Olefin Isomerization: Facile Access to Acyclic Trisubstituted Alkenes

Sheng Zhang, Deepika Bedi, Lu Cheng, Daniel K. Unruh, Guigen Li, Michael Findlater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Stereoselective synthesis of trisubstituted alkenes is a long-standing challenge in organic chemistry, due to the small energy differences between E and Z isomers of trisubstituted alkenes (compared with 1,2-disubstituted alkenes). Transition metal-catalyzed isomerization of 1,1-disubstituted alkenes can serve as an alternative approach to trisubstituted alkenes, but it remains underdeveloped owing to issues relating to reaction efficiency and stereoselectivity. Here we show that a novel cobalt catalyst can overcome these challenges to provide an efficient and stereoselective access to a broad range of trisubstituted alkenes. This protocol is compatible with both mono- and dienes and exhibits a good functional group tolerance and scalability. Moreover, it has proven to be a useful tool to construct organic luminophores and a deuterated trisubstituted alkene. A preliminary study of the mechanism suggests that a cobalt-hydride pathway is involved in the reaction. The high stereoselectivity of the reaction is attributed to both a π-πstacking effect and the steric hindrance between substrate and catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8910-8917
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 13 2020


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