skip to main content

Title: Stable abnormal N-heterocyclic carbenes and their applications
Although N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) have been known as ligands for organometallic complexes since the 1960s, these carbenes did not attract considerable attention until Arduengo et al. reported the isolation of a metal-free imidazol-2-ylidene in 1991. In 2001 Crabtree et al. reported a few complexes featuring an NHC isomer, namely an imidazol-5-ylidene, also termed abnormal NHC (aNHCs). In 2009, it was shown that providing to protect the C-2 position of an imidazolium salt, the deprotonation occurred at the C-5 position, affording imidazol-5-ylidenes that could be isolated. Over the last ten years, stable aNHCs have been used for designing a range of catalysts employing Pd( ii ), Cu( i ), Ni( ii ), Fe(0), Zn( ii ), Ag( i ), and Au( i / iii ) metal based precursors. These catalysts were utilized for different organic transformations such as the Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling reaction, C–H bond activation, dehydrogenative coupling, Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (click reaction), hydroheteroarylation, hydrosilylation reaction and migratory insertion of carbenes. Main-group metal complexes were also synthesized, including K( i ), Al( iii ), Zn( ii ), Sn( ii ), Ge( ii ), and Si( ii / iv ). Among them, K( i ), Al( iii ), and Zn( ii ) complexes more » were used for the polymerization of caprolactone and rac -lactide at room temperature. In addition, based on the superior nucleophilicity of aNHCs, relative to that of their nNHCs isomers, they were used for small molecules activation, such as carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O), tetrahydrofuran (THF), tetrahydrothiophene and 9-borabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane (9BBN). aNHCs have also been shown to be efficient metal-free catalysts for ring opening polymerization of different cyclic esters at room temperature; they are among the most active metal-free catalysts for ε-caprolactone polymerization. Recently, aNHCs successfully accomplished the metal-free catalytic formylation of amides using CO 2 and the catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide, including atmospheric CO 2 , into methanol, under ambient conditions. Although other transition metal complexes featuring aNHCs as ligand have been prepared and used in catalysis, this review article summarize the results obtained with the isolated aNHCs. « less
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Chemical Society Reviews
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1233 to 1252
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The formation of amide bonds represents one of the most fundamental processes in organic synthesis. Transition-metal-catalyzed activation of acyclic twisted amides has emerged as an increasingly powerful platform in synthesis. Herein, we report the transamidation of N-activated twisted amides by selective N–C(O) cleavage mediated by air- and moisture-stable half-sandwich Ni(II)–NHC (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbenes) complexes. We demonstrate that the readily available cyclopentadienyl complex, [CpNi(IPr)Cl] (IPr = 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene), promotes highly selective transamidation of the N–C(O) bond in twisted N-Boc amides with non-nucleophilic anilines. The reaction provides access to secondary anilides via the non-conventional amide bond-forming pathway. Furthermore, the amidation of activatedmore »phenolic and unactivated methyl esters mediated by [CpNi(IPr)Cl] is reported. This study sets the stage for the broad utilization of well-defined, air- and moisture-stable Ni(II)–NHC complexes in catalytic amide bond-forming protocols by unconventional C(acyl)–N and C(acyl)–O bond cleavage reactions.« less
  2. We report a general, highly selective method for Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of N-acylphthalimides via N–C(O) acyl cleavage catalyzed by Pd–PEPPSI-type precatalysts. Of broad synthetic interest, the method introduces N-acylphthalimides as new, bench-stable, highly reactive, twist-controlled, amide-based precursors to acyl-metal intermediates. The reaction delivers functionalized biaryl ketones by acylative Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling with readily available boronic acids. Studies demonstrate that cheap, easily prepared, and broadly applicable Pd–PEPPSI-type precatalysts supported by a sterically demanding IPr (1,3-Bis-(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene) ancillary ligand provide high yields in this reaction. Preliminary selectivity studies and the effect of Pd–N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) complexes with allyl-type throw-away ligands are described. We expect thatmore »N-acylphthalimides will find significant use as amide-based acyl coupling reagents and cross-coupling precursors to acyl-metal intermediates.« less
  3. IPr (IPr = 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene) represents the most important NHC (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene) ligand throughout the field of homogeneous catalysis. Herein, we report the synthesis, catalytic activity, and full structural and electronic characterization of novel, sterically-bulky, easily-accessible NHC ligands based on the hash peralkylation concept, including IPr#, Np# and BIAN-IPr#. The new ligands have been commercialized in collaboration with Millipore Sigma: IPr#HCl, 915653; Np#HCl; 915912; BIAN-IPr#HCl, 916420, enabling broad access of the academic and industrial researchers to new ligands for reaction optimization and screening. In particular, the synthesis of IPr# hinges upon cost-effective, modular alkylation of aniline, an industrial chemicalmore »that is available in bulk. The generality of this approach in ligand design is demonstrated through facile synthesis of BIAN-IPr# and Np#, two ligands that differ in steric properties and N-wingtip arrangement. The broad activity in various cross-coupling reactions in an array of N–C, O–C, C–Cl, C–Br, C–S and C–H bond cross-couplings is demonstrated. The evaluation of steric, electron-donating and π-accepting properties as well as coordination chemistry to Au( i ), Rh( i ) and Pd( ii ) is presented. Given the tremendous importance of NHC ligands in homogenous catalysis, we expect that this new class of NHCs will find rapid and widespread application.« less
  4. A series of five coordinated iron bis(dithiolene) complexes [Fe(NHC)(S 2 C 2 R 2 ) 2 ] (R = C 6 H 5 or C 6 H 4 - p -OCH 3 ) containing N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) (NHC = 1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene or 1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)-4,5-dihydroimidazol-2-ylidene) were isolated in high yield (84–92%). The iron complexes were characterized by NMR spectroscopy and confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction studies. The combination of cyclic voltammetry and spectroelectrochemical analysis revealed that iron complexes undergo Fe–C NHC bond cleavage and release NHC upon subjection to electrochemical reduction. The electrochemically released NHC was trapped using 1-naphthylisothiocyanate and the adductmore »was isolated in nearly quantitative yield (∼99%). As a proof of concept, the electrochemically released NHC was subsequently used as a catalyst for synthesis of γ-butyrolactones from commercially available cinnamaldehydes.« less
  5. Hydrogen bonding plays a critical role in maintaining order and structure in complex biological and synthetic systems. N -heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) represent one of the most versatile tools in the synthetic chemistry toolbox, yet their potential as neutral carbon hydrogen bond acceptors remains underexplored. This report investigates this capability in a strategic manner, wherein carbene-based hydrogen bonding can be assessed by use of ditopic NH -containing molecules. N–H bonds are unique as there are three established reaction modes with carbenes: non-traditional hydrogen bonding adducts (X–H⋯:C), salts arising from proton transfer ([H–C] + [X] − ), or amines from insertion ofmore »the carbene into the N–H bond. Yet, there are no established rules to predict product distributions or the strength of these associations. Here we seek to correlate the hydrogen bond strength of symmetric and asymmetric ditopic secondary amines with 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene ( IPr , a representative NHC). In symmetric and asymmetric ditopic amine adducts both the solid-state (hydrogen bond lengths, NHC interior angles) and solution-state ( 1 H Δ δ of NH signals, 13 C signals of carbenic carbon) can be related to the p K a of the parent amine.« less