Tandem catalysis is a growing field that is beginning to yield important scientific and technological advances toward new and more efficient catalytic processes. 'One-pot' tandem reactions, where multiple catalysts and reagents, combined in a single reaction vessel undergo a sequence of precisely staged catalytic steps, are highly attractive from the standpoint of reducing both waste and time. Orthogonal tandem catalysis is a subset of one-pot reactions in which more than one catalyst is used to promote two or more mechanistically distinct reaction steps. This Perspective summarizes and analyses some of the recent developments and successes in orthogonal tandem catalysis, with particular focus on recent strategies to address catalyst incompatibility. We also highlight the concept of thermodynamic leveraging by coupling multiple catalyst cycles to effect challenging transformations not observed in single-step processes, and to encourage application of this technique to energetically unfavourable or demanding reactions.
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This work was supported by the US Department of Energy under contract DE-AC0206CH11357 to the EFRC Institute for Atom-Efficient Chemical Transformations, and by NSF grant CHE-1213,235 on basic f-element chemistry which supported T.L.L. We thank M. Delferro and R. S. Assary for comments and suggestions.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Lohr, T., Marks, T. Orthogonal tandem catalysis. Nature Chem 7, 477–482 (2015) doi:10.1038/nchem.2262
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