New fluorogenic probes for oxygen and carbene transfer: a sensitive assay for single bead-supported catalysts

J Am Chem Soc. 2001 May 2;123(17):3927-31. doi: 10.1021/ja003786+.


A high-throughput screening assay for atom transfer catalysis has been developed. This assay is based on two probes, developed herein, which generate highly fluorescent products upon carbene or oxygen atom transfer. The emission wavelength of probes 1 and 5 shift significantly (up to 90 nm) upon epoxidation, allowing detection of product at 3% conversion. Probe 7 is not fluorescent, while fluorescence emission by carbene insertion/rearrangement product 8 allows detection at less than 1% conversion. Such sensitivity allows for examination of single-bead reactions in a high throughput array format (1536 wells per plate), and provides a broad detection window ranging from single to high turnover numbers. Thousands of metal complexes are evaluated in a single screening experiment. Preliminary screening of a diverse ligand library with probe 7 in the presence of Rh(II) uncovered new catalysts capable of cyclopropanation and C-H insertion.