The quest for active, yet “green” non-toxic catalysts is a continuous challenge. In this work, covalently linked hybrid porphyrin–nanodiamonds were prepared via ipso nitro substitution reaction and characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), fluorescence spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy (IR) and thermogravimetry-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC). The amine-functionalized nanodiamonds (ND@NH2 ) and 2-nitro-5,10,15,20-tetra(4-trifluoromethylphenyl)porphyrin covalently linked to nanodiamonds (ND@βNH-TPPpCF3 ) were tested using Allium cepa as a plant model, and showed neither phytotoxicity nor cytotoxicity. The hybrid nanodiamond–copper(II)–porphyrin material ND@βNH-TPPpCF3-Cu(II) was also evaluated as a reusable catalyst in cyclohexene allylic oxidation, and displayed a remarkable turnover number (TON) value of ≈265,000, using O2 as green oxidant, in the total absence of sacrificial additives, which is the highest activity ever reported for said allylic oxidation. Additionally, ND@βNH-TPPpCF3-Cu(II) could be easily separated from the reaction mixture by centrifugation, and reused in three consecutive catalytic cycles without major loss of activity.
- Allylic oxidation
- Copper (II) porphyrin