The combination of Pd2dba3·CHCl3and hexacationic triarylphosphine-based Dendriphos ligands (1-3) leads to a highly active catalytic system in the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction. Under relatively mild reaction conditions, nonactivated aryl bromides and activated aryl chlorides can be coupled at a low Pd loading (0.1 mol %). The observed activity of this catalytic system, in particular in coupling reactions of aryl chlorides, is dramatically higher than that of conventional Pd catalysts employing triarylphosphine ligands. Through control and poisoning experiments, it is concluded that a homogeneous Pd(0)-Dendriphos complex is the active species in this catalytic system. Despite their triarylphosphine-based structure, Dendriphos ligands behave as very bulky phosphine ligands and lead to a preferential formation of coordinatively unsaturated and catalytically active Pd(O) species, which explains the observed high catalytic activity for these systems. The presence of six permanent cationic charges in the backbone of this class of ligands is proposed to result in a significant interligand Coulombic repulsion and plays a crucial role in their bulky behavior. In the coupling reactions of activated aryl chlorides, a positive dendritic kinetic effect was observed among the different Dendriphos generations, indicating an increased ability of the higher ligand generations to stabilize the active species due to steric effects. For aryl bromides, no dendritic effect was observed due to a shift in the rate-determining step in the catalytic cycle, from oxidative addition for aryl chlorides to transmetalation for aryl bromide
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