Water-Soluble Copper(I) Hydroxide Catalyst and Its Formation in Ligand-Free Suzuki-Miyaura Cross-Coupling Reactions

Priya Karna, Zou Finfrock, Junjie Li, Yongfeng Hu, Dong Sheng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Copper has emerged as an alternative metal for metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions due to its low cost, readily availability, and low toxicity. This article reports a water-soluble active molecular catalyst and its formation in the ligand-free Suzuki-Miyaura (SM) cross-coupling reactions with copper iodide as the precatalyst in aqueous solutions. The SM coupling is homogeneous in nature, and the molecular catalyst is Cu(OH) in its singlet electronic state as identified by experimental and computational UV-vis absorption spectroscopy. The Cu(OH) catalyst is generated through the leaching of oval-shaped Cu2O nanoparticles, which are characterized with X-ray Auger electron spectroscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The soluble Cu(OH) species is stable for at least 4 weeks under ambient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5791-5799
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 30 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry (Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms, grant no. 1800316). This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory and was supported by the U.S. DOE under contract no. DE-AC02-06CH11357 and the Canadian Light Source and its funding partners. The authors would also like to thank Mark Watson for his help with GC–MS and Dali Qian and Jillian Cramer for their help with TEM.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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