Homogeneous catalysis by palladium complexes with phosphorus(III) ligands of the carbonylation of o-xylylene dihalides in the presence of water to form 3-isochromanone has been studied. Triphenylphosphine was found to provide the most effective catalyst, and by-products and intermediates of systems containing this ligand have been investigated. 2-Indanone is one by-product but is unstable to decomposition under catalytic conditions. Excess PPh3 is necessary to prolong activity of the catalyst but is also transformed to bis-phosphonium compound [o-C6H4(CH2PPh3)2]X2 (X = Cl or Br); this quaternization has been investigated and the structure of the bromide salt determined by X-ray diffraction. An unstable oxidative addition product of Pd(PPh3)4 was detected as a probable intermediate and related to the previously reported but catalytically-inactive complex trans-Pd(o-CH2C6H4CH2Cl)Cl(PMe3)2, which has been structurally characterized by X-ray diffraction in this work. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- o-Xylylene dihalides
- Phosphonium salt