Latency for All: Enabling Latency of Hoveyda-Grubbs Second-Generation Catalysts by Adding Phosphite Ligands

Anna Vaisman, Yuval Vidavsky, Mark Baranov, Avi Lehrer, Joshua H. Baraban, N. Gabriel Lemcoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Hoveyda-Grubbs catalyst (HG2, M720 Umicore) is among the most widely used catalysts in olefin metathesis reactions. Given the usefulness of HG2 and the great interest in developing latent olefin metathesis catalysts for numerous applications, we developed a method to introduce phosphite molecules as ancillary ligands into the precatalyst framework. This modification alters the geometry of the complex from an active trans-dichloro form to a latent cis-dichloro species. Most unusually, the ligands coordinate to HG2 only in solidified solutions (most likely due to entropic factors), providing latent catalysts that can be activated on demand by heat or light by regenerating the original HG2 catalyst. Of particular interest is the use of these latent catalysts in ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) reactions and 3D printing methods. Indeed, the novel complexes displayed the required latency toward ROMP monomers, even the most reactive dicyclopentadiene. Irradiation with 405 nm light readily results in the expedited formation of the desired polymers. This novel approach provides a general and straightforward way to access efficient and well-defined latent olefin metathesis catalysts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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