Hybrid Silsesquioxane/Benzoate Cu7-Complexes: Synthesis, Unique Cage Structure, and Catalytic Activity

Alexey N. Bilyachenko*, Victor N. Khrustalev, Evgenii I. Gutsul, Anna Y. Zueva, Alexander A. Korlyukov, Lidia S. Shul’pina, Nikolay S. Ikonnikov, Pavel V. Dorovatovskii, Dmitri Gelman, Elena S. Shubina, Georgiy B. Shul’pin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A series of phenylsilsesquioxane-benzoate heptacopper complexes 1–3 were synthesized and characterized by X-ray crystallography. Two parallel routes of toluene spontaneous oxidation (into benzyl alcohol and benzoate) assisted the formation of the cagelike structure 1. A unique multi-ligation of copper ions (from (i) silsesquioxane, (ii) benzoate, (iii) benzyl alcohol, (iv) pyridine, (v) dimethyl-formamide and (vi) water ligands) was found in 1. Directed self-assembly using benzoic acid as a reactant afforded complexes 2–3 with the same main structural features as for 1, namely heptanuclear core coordinated by (i) two distorted pentameric cyclic silsesquioxane and (ii) four benzoate ligands, but featuring other solvate surroundings. Complex 3 was evaluated as a catalyst for the oxidation of alkanes to alkyl hydroperoxides and alcohols to ketones with hydrogen peroxide and tert-butyl hydroperoxide, respectively, at 50 °C in acetonitrile. The maximum yield of cyclohexane oxidation products as high as 32% was attained. The oxidation reaction results in a mixture of cyclohexyl hydroperoxide, cyclohexanol, and cyclohexanone. Upon the addition of triphenylphosphine, the cyclohexyl hydroperoxide is completely converted to cyclohexanol. The specific regio- and chemoselectivity in the oxidation of n-heptane and methylcyclohexane, respectively, indicate the involvement of of hydroxyl radicals. Complex 3 exhibits a high activity in the oxidation of alcohols.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8505
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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  • alkanes
  • alkyl hydroperoxide
  • benzoate ligands
  • cagelike compounds
  • metallasilsesquioxanes
  • oxidative catalysis


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