CATALYSIS: A supramolecular microenvironment strategy for transition metal catalysis

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A self-assembled supramolecular complex is reported to catalyze alkyl-alkyl reductive elimination from high-valent transition metal complexes [such as gold(III) and platinum(IV)], the central bond-forming elementary step in many catalytic processes. The catalytic microenvironment of the supramolecular assembly acts as a functional enzyme mimic, applying the concepts of enzymatic catalysis to a reactivity manifold not represented in biology. Kinetic experiments delineate a Michaelis-Menten-type mechanism, with measured rate accelerations (kcat/kuncat) up to 1.9 × 107 (herekcat andkuncat are the Michaelis-Menten enzymatic rate constant and observed uncatalyzed rate constant, respectively). This modality has further been incorporated into a dual catalytic cross-coupling reaction, which requires both the supramolecular microenvironment catalyst and the transition metal catalyst operating in concert to achieve efficient turnover.

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