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Noninnocent Behavior of Ancillary Ligands: Apparent Trans Coupling of a Saturated N-Heterocyclic Carbene Unit with an Ethyl Ligand Mediated by Nickel

TitleNoninnocent Behavior of Ancillary Ligands: Apparent Trans Coupling of a Saturated N-Heterocyclic Carbene Unit with an Ethyl Ligand Mediated by Nickel
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSteinke, T, Shaw, BK, Jong, H, Patrick, BO, Fryzuk, MD, Green, JC
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume131
Pagination10461-10466
Date PublishedAug
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0002-7863
KeywordsACTIVATION, CHEMISTRY, COMPLEXES, MECHANISM, MIGRATORY INSERTION, NHC, ORGANOMETALLIC CATALYSIS, palladium, REDUCTIVE ELIMINATION, ruthenium
Abstract

Oxidative addition of the tridentate N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) diphosphine ligand precursor ([PCP]H)PF6 (1) {[PCP] = o-(Pr2PC6H4)-Pr-i(NC3H4N)o-(C6H4PPr2)-Pr-i} to Ni(COD)(2) results in the formation of the nickel(II) hydride complex ([PCP]NiH)PF6 (2). This hydride undergoes a rapid reaction with ethylene to generate a nickel(O) complex in which an ethyl group has been transferred to the carbene carbon of the original NHC-diphosphine ligand. If the first intermediate is the anticipated square-planar nickel(II) ethyl species, then the formation of the product would require a process that involves a trans C-C coupling of the NHC carbon and a presumed Ni-ethyl intermediate. Deuterium-labeling studies provide evidence for migratory insertion of the added ethylene into the Ni-H bond rather than into the Ni-catene linkage; this is based on the observed deuterium scrambling, which requires reversible P-elimination, alkene rotation, and hydride readdition. However, density functional theory studies suggest that a key intermediate is an agostic ethyl species that has the Ni-C bond cis to the NHC unit. A possible transition state containing two cis-disposed carbon moieties was also identified. Such a process represents a new pathway for catalyst deactivation involving NHC-based metal complexes.

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