Molybdenum-catalyzed olefin epoxidation: Ligand effects

Werner R. Thiel*, Jörg Eppinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


We synthesized substituted pyrazolylpyridine ligands to examine their donor properties by spectroscopic (IR, NMR) and computational (AM 1) methods. The influence of the substitution patterns on spectroscopic and thermodynamic features of molybdenum oxobisperoxo complexes [(L L)MoO(O2)2] (L L=2-(1-alkyl-3-pyrazolyl)pyridine pyrazine) correlates with the activities of the complexes in catalytic olefin epoxidation reactions. This further proof for the relation between the Lewis acidity and the catalytic activity of epoxidation catalysts supports a reaction mechanism in which the peroxo complex activates the oxidizing agent (H2O2, ROOH) instead of directly transferring an oxygen atom from a η2-peroxo ligand to the olefin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • catalysis
  • epoxidations
  • molybdenum
  • olefins
  • peroxo complexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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