Copper-oxygen adduct complexes

The new copper-oxygen adduct complexes according to the present invention are thermally stable at room temperature (and above), for the first time, as well as in oxygen-containing atmosphere, i.e. stable as a solid and suitable for being used as oxidation catalysts especially in industrial chemistry, for instance for the oxidation of benzene to phenol or of methane to methanol, for the oxidation of hydrogen, aromatic and aliphatic, saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons as well as alcohols and amines.<p>

The possibility of using monovalent copper complexes with tripodal tetradentate ligands as an oxidising agent is definitely known by the state of the art. These are, however, thermally instable due to their oxygen sensitivity (i.e. they can only be conserved for a short time at temperatures significantly inferior to 0°C) and, thus, only usable in a restricted manner as oxidation catalysts. The invention at hand overcomes this disadvantage in the state of the art first by complexing a tripodal tetradentate ligand with a Cu-(I) compound and then by replacing the anion of this complex with a tetraarylborate and finally by exposing the [Cu-L]-tetraarylborate complex to a oxygen-containing atmosphere. This last reaction step is also suitable for being used in detecting oxygen.<p> These oxidation methods can be transferred by the invention at hand from laboratory scale to a industrial application: The copper-(II)-oxygen adduct complexes according to the present invention are, for instance, suitable for being deposited as reactive components in mesoporous phases such as molecular sieves or on zeolites or polystyrenes.

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