skip to main content

Title: Microfluidic Synthesis of Elastomeric Microparticles: A Case Study in Catalysis of Palladium-Mediated Cross-Coupling
Metal-mediated cross-coupling reactions offer organic chemists a wide array of stereo- and chemically-selective reactions with broad applications in fine chemical and pharmaceutical synthesis.1 Current batch-based synthesis methods are beginning to be replaced with flow chemistry strategies to take advantage of the improved consistency and process control methods offered by continuous flow systems.2,3 Most cross-coupling chemistries still encounter several issues in flow using homogeneous catalysis, including expensive catalyst recovery and air sensitivity due to the chemical nature of the catalyst ligands.1 To mitigate some of these issues, a ligand-free heterogeneous catalysis reaction was developed using palladium (Pd) loaded into a polymeric network of a silicone elastomer, poly(hydromethylsiloxane) (PHMS), that is not air sensitive and can be used with mild reaction solvents (ethanol and water).4 In this work we present a novel method of producing soft catalytic microparticles using a multiphase flow-focusing microreactor and demonstrate their application for continuous Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reactions. The catalytic microparticles are produced in a coaxial glass capillary-based 3D flow-focusing microreactor. The microreactor consists of two precursors, a cross-linking catalyst in toluene and a mixture of the PHMS polymer and a divinyl cross-linker. The dispersed phase containing the polymer, cross-linker, and cross-linking catalyst is continuously mixed and then more » formed into microdroplets by the continuous phase of water and surfactant (sodium dodecyl sulfate) introduced in a counter-flow configuration. Elastomeric microdroplets with a diameter ranging between 50 to 300 micron are produced at 25 to 250 Hz with a size polydispersity less than 3% in single stream production. The physicochemical properties of the elastomeric microparticles such as particle swelling/softness can be tuned using the ratio of cross-linker to polymer as well as the ratio of polymer mixture to solvent during the particle formation. Swelling in toluene can be tuned up to 400% of the initial particle volume by reducing the concentration of cross-linker in the mixture and increasing the ratio of polymer to solvent during production.5 After the particles are produced and collected, they are transferred into toluene containing palladium acetate, allowing the particles to incorporate the palladium into the polymer network and then reduce the palladium to Pd0 with the Si-H functionality present on the PHMS backbones. After the reduction, the Pd-loaded particles can be washed and dried for storage or switched into an ethanol/water solution for loading into a micro-packed bed reactor (µ-PBR) for continuous organic synthesis. The in-situ reduction of Pd within the PHMS microparticles was confirmed using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and focused ion beam-SEM, and TEM techniques. In the next step, we used the developed µ-PBR to conduct continuous organic synthesis of 4-phenyltoluene by Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of 4-iodotoluene and phenylboronic acid using potassium carbonate as the base. Catalyst leaching was determined to only occur at sub ppm concentrations even at high solvent flow rates after 24 h of continuous run using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The developed µ-PBR using the elastomeric microparticles is an important initial step towards the development of highly-efficient and green continuous manufacturing technologies in the pharma industry. In addition, the developed elastomeric microparticle synthesis technique can be utilized for the development of a library of other chemically cross-linkable polymer/cross-linker pairs for applications in organic synthesis, targeted drug delivery, cell encapsulation, or biomedical imaging. References 1. Ruiz-Castillo P, Buchwald SL. Applications of Palladium-Catalyzed C-N Cross-Coupling Reactions. Chem Rev. 2016;116(19):12564-12649. 2. Adamo A, Beingessner RL, Behnam M, et al. On-demand continuous-flow production of pharmaceuticals in a compact, reconfigurable system. Science. 2016;352(6281):61 LP-67. 3. Jensen KF. Flow Chemistry — Microreaction Technology Comes of Age. 2017;63(3). 4. Stibingerova I, Voltrova S, Kocova S, Lindale M, Srogl J. Modular Approach to Heterogenous Catalysis. Manipulation of Cross-Coupling Catalyst Activity. Org Lett. 2016;18(2):312-315. 5. Bennett JA, Kristof AJ, Vasudevan V, Genzer J, Srogl J, Abolhasani M. Microfluidic synthesis of elastomeric microparticles: A case study in catalysis of palladium-mediated cross-coupling. AIChE J. 2018;0(0):1-10. « less
; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2018 AIChE Annual Meeting
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Palladium catalyzed cross-coupling reactions represent a significant advancement in contemporary organic synthesis as these reactions are of strategic importance in the area of pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. Supported palladium-based catalysts are highly sought-after in carbon–carbon bond forming catalytic processes to ensure catalyst recovery and reuse while preventing product contamination. This paper reports the development of heterogeneous Pd-based bimetallic catalysts supported on fumed silica that have high activity and selectivity matching those of homogeneous catalysts, eliminating the catalyst's leaching and sintering and allowing efficient recycling of the catalysts. Palladium and base metal (Cu, Ni or Co) contents of less thanmore »1.0 wt% loading are deposited on a mesoporous fumed silica support (surface area SA BET = 350 m 2 g −1 ) using strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) yielding homogeneously alloyed nanoparticles with an average size of 1.3 nm. All bimetallic catalysts were found to be highly active toward Suzuki cross-coupling (SCC) reactions with superior activity and stability for the CuPd/SiO 2 catalyst. A low CuPd/SiO 2 loading (Pd: 0.3 mol%) completes the conversion of bromobenzene and phenylboronic acid to biphenyl in 30 minutes under ambient conditions in water/ethanol solvent. In contrast, monometallic Pd/SiO 2 (Pd: 0.3 mol%) completes the same reaction in three hours under the same conditions. The combination of Pd with the base metals helps in retaining the Pd 0 status by charge donation from the base metals to Pd, thus lowering the activation energy of the aryl halide oxidative addition step. Along with its exceptional activity, CuPd/SiO 2 exhibits excellent recycling performance with a turnover frequency (TOF) of 280 000 h −1 under microwave reaction conditions at 60 °C. Our study demonstrates that SEA is an excellent synthetic strategy for depositing ultra-small Pd-based bimetallic nanoparticles on porous silica for SCC. This avenue not only provides highly active and sintering-resistant catalysts but also significantly lowers Pd contents in the catalysts without compromising catalytic activity, making the catalysts very practical for large-scale applications.« less
  2. Abstract Amides are among the most important and ubiquitous functional groups in organic chemistry and process development. In this Practical Synthetic Procedure, a protocol for the Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of amides by selective N–C(O) bond activation catalyzed by commercially available, air- and moisture-stable palladium/N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes is described. The procedure described involves [Pd(IPr)(cin)Cl] [IPr = 2,6-(diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene, cin = cinnamyl] at 0.10 mol% at room temperature and is performed on decagram scale. Furthermore, a procedure for the synthesis of amide starting materials is accomplished via selective N-tert-butoxycarbonylation, which is the preferred method over N-acylation. The present protocol carries advantages of operationalmore »simplicity, commercial availability of catalysts, and excellent conversions at low catalyst loadings. The method is generally useful for activation of N–C(O) amide bonds in a broad spectrum of amide precursors. The protocol should facilitate the implementation of amide cross-coupling reactions.« less
  3. A Pd-PEPPSI-catalyzed (Pd = Palladium, PEPPSI = pyridine-enhanced precatalyst preparation stabilization and initiation) Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of aryl esters via selective C–O cleavage at room temperature is reported. The developed catalyst system displays broad substrate scope with respect to both components under practical ambient reaction conditions using readily-available, cheap, modular, air- and moisturestable Pd-NHC precatalyst (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene). The use of water proved crucial for achieving high reactivity in this coupling. The catalyst system represents the mildest conditions for the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of aryl esters reported to date. The protocol also allowed for achieving TON >1,000 (TON = turnover number)more »in the Suzuki-Miyaura ester coupling for the first time.« less
  4. Palladium-catalyzed Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling or aryl halides is widely employed in the synthesis of many important molecules in synthetic chemistry, including pharmaceuticals, polymers and functional materials. Herein, we disclose the first palladium-catalyzed decarbonylative Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of amides for the synthesis of biaryls through the selective activation of the N–C(O) bond of amides. This new method relies on the precise sequence engineering of the catalytic cycle, wherein decarbonylation occurs prior to the transmetallation step. The reaction is compatible with a wide range of boronic acids and amides, providing valuable biaryls in high yields (>60 examples). DFT studies support a mechanism involving oxidativemore »addition, decarbonylation and transmetallation and provide insight into high N–C(O) bond activation selectivity. Most crucially, the reaction establishes the use of palladium catalysis in the biaryl Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of the amide bond and should enable the design of a wide variety of cross-coupling methods in which palladium rivals the traditional biaryl synthesis from aryl halides and pseudohalides.« less
  5. Although the palladium-catalyzed Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of aryl esters has received significant attention, there is a lack of methods that utilize cheap and readily accessible Pd-phosphane catalysts, and can be routinely carried out with high cross-coupling selectivity. Herein, we report the first general method for the cross-coupling of pentafluorophenyl esters (pentafluorophenyl = pfp) by selective C–O acyl cleavage. The reaction proceeds efficiently using Pd(0)/phosphane catalyst systems. The unique characteristics of pentafluorophenyl esters are reflected in the fully selective cross-coupling vs. phenolic esters. Of broad synthetic interest, this report establishes pentafluorophenyl esters as new, highly reactive, bench-stable, economical, ester-based, electrophilic acylative reagentsmore »via acyl-metal intermediates. Mechanistic studies strongly support a unified reactivity scale of acyl electrophiles by C(O)–X (X = N, O) activation. The reactivity of pfp esters can be correlated with barriers to isomerization around the C(acyl)–O bond.« less