Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

In Situ Structural Determination of a Homogeneous Ruthenium Racemization Catalyst and Its Activated Intermediates Using X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy

Gustafson, Karl P. J.; Guomundsson, Arnar; Bajnoczi, Eva G.; Yuan, Ning; Zou, Xiaodong; Persson, Ingmar; Backvall, Jan-E.


The activation process of a known Ru-catalyst, dicarbonyl(pentaphenylcyclopentadienyl)ruthenium chloride, has been studied in detail using time resolved in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The data provide bond lengths of the species involved in the process as well as information about bond formation and bond breaking. On addition of potassium tert-butoxide, the catalyst is activated and an alkoxide complex is formed. The catalyst activation proceeds via a key acyl intermediate, which gives rise to a complete structural change in the coordination environment around the Ru atom. The rate of activation for the different catalysts was found to be highly dependent on the electronic properties of the cyclopentadienyl ligand. During catalytic racemization of 1-phenylethanol a fast-dynamic equilibrium was observed.


homogeneous catalysis; in situ EXAFS spectroscopy; racemization; ruthenium

Published in

Chemistry - A European Journal
2020, Volume: 26, number: 15, pages: 3411-3419