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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 5 (2003) pp 192-194

Ruthenium(II) Phosphine Complexes as Catalysts: An Undergraduate Experiment

David E. Berry*, Kelli L. Fawkes, and Jessie A. Leighton

Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, V8W 3V6,
Received December 24, 2002. Accepted April 7, 2003

Published online: 13 May 2003

Abstract. This experiment might be part of a senior organometallic course. It requires the synthesis and characterization of several ruthenium phosphine complexes, and their subsequent use for catalyzing the conversion of 1-phenylethanol to acetophenone and back. The design of the experiment encourages some choices to be made by the student, although the initial syntheses are recipe-driven. Bench techniques required include working under an inert atmosphere, reflux, distillation, and chromatography. NMR and IR spectroscopy are used for characterization.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; inorganic chemistry; organometallic; catalysis; hydrides

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (218 K B) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Experimental procedures written for student use are included in a Zip file (102 KB) 10.1333/s00897000686a .

Supporting Materials:


Issue date: June 1, 2003

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