Umicore acquires YPhos ligand technology from Ruhr-Bochum University

Precious Metals Chemistry

Umicore‘s business unit Precious Metals Chemistry is further expanding its cross-coupling catalyst portfolio by acquiring Ruhr-Bochum University’s YPhosTM ligands and catalysts technology. 

Recognized as one of the most elegant and versatile synthetic methods to prepare high-value chemicals, cross-coupling reactions have become essential in the synthesis of agrochemicals, electronic chemicals, fine chemicals or pharmaceuticals. Invented by professor Viktoria Gessner’s research group, YPhosTM ligands are a novel class of phosphines bearing ylide substituents. They feature electronic and steric properties that show an excellent aptitude to support active transition metal catalysts, particularly in reactions where strong electron-donating ligands and steric protection of low coordinated species are required. 

Compared to the currently best known phosphine catalyst systems, YPhosTM ligands, combined with specific palladium-catalysts, showed a superior performance at room temperature Buchwald-Hartwig amination of aryl chlorides. They have additionally proven highly efficient in a wide range of challenging palladium-catalyzed α-arylation of alkyl ketones with aryl chlorides under mild conditions. Additionally, they feature outstanding performance in gold-catalyzed hydroamination and hydration reactions, using low catalyst loadings under mild reaction conditions.

Umicore now offers its customers worldwide a selection of YPhosTM ligand and catalyst systems on research and commercial scale. Research quantities are available from our distribution partner Merck/MilliporeSigma. This agreement with Ruhr-Bochum University enables Umicore to provide full access to an outstanding proprietary technology and to support its customers with an expanded portfolio of cutting-edge homogeneous catalysts and service offering, including Buchwald and Hazari precatalysts, Grubbs metathesis catalysts and many more. 

Depending on the region of publication, please note that:          

  • MilliporeSigma should be used in Canada and the USA
  • Merck should be used in the rest of the world.

For more information (in German), please find Ruhr University Bochum's publication there.

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