Thechiral P-N* ligands [(S)-2-(dimethyIamino)-3-phenylpropyl]diphenylphosphine, (S)-phephos, 1, [(5)-2-(dimethylamino)-2-phenyIethyl]diphenylphosphine, (S)-phglyphos, 2, [(S)-2-(dimethylamino)-3-methylbutyl]-diphenylphosphine, (SJ-valphos, 3, and [(+)-(2S, 3/J)-4-(dimethylamino)-3-methyl]-2-diphenylphosphinoxy-l, 2-diphenylbutane, (+)-(25, 3)-chiraldphos, 4, reacted with [Ru(n6-arene)Cl2]2 (arene =/?-cymene, benzene or hexamethylbenzene), in dichloromethane or tetrahydrofuran solution, affording the corresponding [Ru(η6-arene)-(P-N*)C12] complexes, 5, in which the P-N* acts as a monodentate P-bonded ligand. In methanol the same reactions easily afforded the corresponding chelate complexes [Ru(η6-arene)(P-N*)Cl]Cl. Using ligands 1-3, when the arene is/j-cymene, 90:10 diastereomeric mixtures of the cationic complexes have been obtained while only one diastereomer was formed in the corresponding reactions when the arene is benzene or hexamethylbenzene. The determination of the absolute configuration of the major products as RRa, Sc diastereoisomers was made from the crystal structure and CD spectra comparison of the complex (Ru, Sc)-[Ru(n6-/7-MeC6H4Pr')-(5-phglyphos)Cl]BF4. Complexes [Ru(n6-arene)(P-N*)Cl]Cl were also obtained by adding small amounts of methanol to solutions of [Ru(η6-arene)(P-N*)Cl2] in chloroform. A kinetic study, in CDC13 solution containing variable amounts of methanol, on the chelation process in the neutral species [Ru(n6-arene)(P-N*)ClJ showed first-order behaviour of the A'obs values with the nucleophile (methanol) concentration. The pseudo-first-order rate constants are ascribed to replacement of Cl- by a molecule of methanol. A reaction mechanism is proposed. ©The Royal Society of Chemistry 2000.
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