skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 10:00 PM ET on Friday, December 8 until 2:00 AM ET on Saturday, December 9 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This content will become publicly available on August 10, 2024

Title: Homolytic Pd II –C Bond Cleavage in the MILRad Process: Reversibility and Termination Mechanism
This work probed the thermal “switchability” from ethylene coordination/insertion to controlled radical polymerization of methyl acrylate (MA) for Brookhart-type α-diimine PdII catalysts. The investigation focused on the extremely bulky 2,6-bis(3,5-dimethylphenyl)-4-methylphenyl (Xyl4Ph) α-diimine N-substituents to probe reversible PdII–C bond activation in the MA-quenched Pd-capped PE intermediate and reversible trapping during radical MA polymerization. The substituent steric effect on the relative stability of various [PE–MA–PdII(ArN═CMeCMe═NAr)]+ chain-end structures and on the bond dissociation-free energy (BDFE) for the homolytic PdII–C bond cleavage has been assessed by DFT calculations at the full quantum mechanics (QM) and QM/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods. The structures comprise ester-chelated forms with the Pd atom bonded to the α, β, and γ C atoms as a result of 2,1 MA insertion into the PE–Pd bond and of subsequent chain walking, as well as related monodentate (ring-opened) forms resulting from the addition of MA or acetonitrile. The opened Cα-bonded form is electronically favored for smaller N-substituents, including 2,6-diisopropylphenyl (Dipp), particularly when MeCN is added, but the open Cγ-bonded form is preferred for the extremely bulky system with Ar = Xyl4Ph. The Pdα–C bond is the weakest one to cleave, with the BDFE decreasing as the Ar steric bulk is increased (31.8, 25.8, and 12.6 kcal mol–1 for Ph, Dipp, and Xyl4Ph, respectively). However, experimental investigations on the [PE–MA–PdII(ArN═CMeCMe═NAr)]+ (Ar = Xyl4Ph) macroinitiator do not show any evidence of radical formation under thermal activation conditions, while photolytic activation produces both TEMPO-trapped (TEMPO = 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyloxy) and unsaturated MA-containing PE chains. The DFT investigation has highlighted a low-energy pathway for termination of the PE–MA• radicals by disproportionation, promoted by β-H elimination/dissociation and H-atom abstraction from the PdII–H intermediate by a second radical. This phenomenon appears to be the main reason for the failure of this PdII system to control the radical polymerization of MA by the OMRP (OMRP = organometallic-mediated radical polymerization) mechanism.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Two‐coordinate carbene Cu(Ι) amide complexes with sterically bulky groups such as the diisopropyl phenyl (dipp) on the carbenes have been shown to have comparable performance to the phosphorescent emitters bearing heavy atoms such as iridium and platinum. These bulky groups enforce a coplanar molecular structure and suppress the nonradiative decay rates. Here, three different two‐coordinate Cu(Ι) complexes were investigated that bear a common thiazole carbene, 3‐(2,6‐diisopropylphenyl)‐4,5‐dimethylthiazol‐2‐ylidene, with only a single dipp group, and carbazolyl ligands with substituents of varying steric bulkorthoto N. These substituents have a negligible impact on luminescence energies of the complexes but serve to modulate the rotation barriers along the metal–ligand coordinate bond. The geometric arrangement of ligands (syn‐ oranti‐conformer) in complexes with alkyl substituents were found to differ, beingsynin the solid state versusantiin solution as revealed by crystallographic analysis and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In addition, calculations were performed to determine potential energy surfaces for different conformations of the three complexes to provide a theoretical evaluation of rotation barriers around the metal–ligand bond axis. The relationship between rotation barriers and photophysical properties demonstrate that rates for nonradiative decay decrease with increasing bulk of the substituents on the carbazolyl ligand.

    more » « less
  2. We report the design and synthesis of an α-diimine PdII catalyst that copolymerizes functionalized and long chain α-olefins to produce semicrystalline polyethylene materials. Through a chain-straightening polymerization mechanism, the catalyst afforded high-melting point polymers with Tm values of up to 120 °C. The chain-straightening polymerization operates with high [ω,1]-insertion selectivity at high alkene concentrations and with varying α-olefin chain lengths, including propylene. The Pd catalyst can copolymerize 1-decene and methyl decenoate into semicrystalline ester-functionalized polymers with incorporation percentages proportional to the comonomer ratio (up to 13 mol %). 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and isotope labeling studies revealed that the improved selectivity relative to those of other systems arises from a high selectivity for [2,1]-insertion (96%) coupled with rapid chain-walking for a total of 90 mol % of 1-decene undergoing net [10,1]-insertion. 
    more » « less
  3. The photochemically generated synthesis of a terminal uranium nitride species is here reported and an examination of its intra- and intermolecular chemistry is presented. Treatment of the U( iii ) complex L Ar UI(DME) ((L Ar ) 2− = 2,2′′-bis(Dippanilide)- p -terphenyl; Dipp = 2,6-diisopropylphenyl) with LiNIm Dipp ((NIm Dipp ) − = 1,3-bis(Dipp)-imidazolin-2-iminato) generates the sterically congested 3N-coordinate compound L Ar U(NIm Dipp ) ( 1 ). Complex 1 reacts with 1 equiv. of Ph 3 CN 3 to give the U( iv ) azide L Ar U(N 3 )(NIm Dipp ) ( 2 ). Structural analysis of 2 reveals inequivalent N α –N β > N β –N γ distances indicative of an activated azide moiety predisposed to N 2 loss. Room-temperature photolysis of benzene solutions of 2 affords the U( iv ) amide ( N -L Ar )U(NIm Dipp ) ( 3 ) via intramolecular N-atom insertion into the benzylic C–H bond of a pendant isopropyl group of the (L Ar ) 2− ligand. The formation of 3 occurs as a result of the intramolecular interception of the intermediately generated, terminal uranium nitride (L Ar )U(N)(NIm Dipp ) ( 3′ ). Evidence for the formation of 3′ is further bolstered by its intermolecular capture, accomplished by photolyzing solutions of 2 in the presence of an isocyanide or PMe 3 to give (L Ar )U[NCN(C 6 H 3 Me 2 )](NIm Dipp ) ( 5 ) and ( N , C -L Ar *)U(NPMe 3 )(NIm Dipp ) ( 6 ), respectively. These results expand upon the limited reactivity studies of terminal uranium–nitride moieties and provide new insights into their chemical properties. 
    more » « less
  4. The known compound K[( PO ) 2 Mn(CO) 2 ] ( PO = 2-((diphenylphosphino)methyl)-4,6-dimethylphenolate) (K[ 1 ]) was protonated to form the new Mn( i ) complex ( HPO )( PO )Mn(CO) 2 ( H 1 ) and was determined to have a p K a approximately equal to tetramethylguanidine (TMG). The reduction potential of K[ 1 ] was determined to be −0.58 V vs. Fc/Fc + in MeCN and allowed for an estimation of an experimental O–H bond dissociation free energy (BDFE O–H ) of 73 kcal mol −1 according to the Bordwell equation. This value is in good agreement with a corrected DFT computed BDFE O–H of 68.0 kcal mol −1 (70.3 kcal mol −1 for intramolecular H-bonded isomer). The coordination of the protonated O-atom in the solid-state H 1 was confirmed using FTIR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. The phenol moiety is hemilabile as evident from computation and experimental results. For instance, dissociation of the protonated O-atom in H 1 is endergonic by only a few kcal mol −1 (DFT). Furthermore, [ 1 ] − and other Mn( i ) compounds coordinated to PO and/or HPO do not react with MeCN, but H 1 reacts with MeCN to form H 1 + MeCN . Experimental evidence for the solution-bound O-atoms of H 1 was obtained from 1 H NMR and UV-vis spectroscopy and by comparing the electronic spectra of bona fide 16-e − Mn( i ) complexes such as [{ PNP }Mn(CO) 2 ] ( PNP = − N{CH 2 CH 2 (P i Pr 2 )} 2 ) and [( Me3SiOP )( PO )Mn(CO) 2 ] ( Me3Si 1 ). Compound H 1 is only meta-stable ( t 1/2 0.5–1 day) and decomposes into products consistent with homolytic O–H bond cleavage. For instance, treatment of H 1 with TEMPO resulted in formation of TEMPOH, free ligand, and [Mn II {( PO ) 2 Mn(CO) 2 } 2 ]. Together with the experimental and calculated weakened BDFE O–H , these data provide strong evidence for the coordination and hemilability of the protonated O-atom in H 1 and represents the first example of the phenolic Mn( i )–O linkage and a rare example of a “soft-homolysis” intermediate in the bond-weakening catalysis paradigm. 
    more » « less
  5. 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 chemical 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. 
    more » « less