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A first effort employing a range of polar-group functionalized phosphines (L 1 –L 7 ) to design mononuclear Rh(I) compounds of [Rh(quin-8-O)(CO)(L)] (quin-8-O = 8-hydroxy quinolate) is described. The reaction of a Rh(I) precursor [Rh(μ-Cl)(CO)2]2 with 8-hydroxyquinoline in the presence of a base followed by phosphines (L 1 –L 7 ) produced only a single isomer of [Rh(quin-8-O)(CO)(L)] compounds (1–7) with pendant, i.e. non-bonded, polar-groups (includes carboxyl, hydroxyl and formyl). A relationship between Δgd31P chemical shifts and the ν(C≡O) was derived to evaluate and explain the σ-donor properties of these phosphines with respect to the electronic properties of the polar groups and the extent of π-back-bonding to the CO group. These mononuclear Rh(I)-Phosphines were investigated as catalysts in the hydroformylation of 1-hexene and cyclohexene in aqueous two-phase and single-phase solvent systems. The Rh(I) catalysts with strong σ-donor and hydrophilic phosphines provided better yields and selectivities for the hydroformylation products, which is a reverse trend compared to literature reports. When the Rh(I) compounds contained strong σ-donor phosphines, the π-acceptor properties of the pyridine ring of 8-hydroxyquinolate were found to be beneficial for the facile cleavage of the CO group during hydroformylation, and additionally, to improve the kinetic stability of catalysts. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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