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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 24, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Herein, we report four new chiral 1,4,7‐triazacyclononane (TACN) derivatives and their corresponding nickel(II) chloride complexes. All TACN ligands are bearing one chiral N‐substituent and two alkyl (methyl ortert‐butyl) N‐substituents, and we have developed a new synthetic method for the dimethyl‐substituted TACN derivative, in order to prevent the rotational isomers that hinder the cyclization reaction. The nickel complexes change their coordination geometry significantly depending on the steric bulk of the N‐alkyl substituents, from a dinuclear tris(μ‐chloro)dinickel complex to mononuclear Ni‐dichloride and Ni‐chloride complexes. These complexes were then employed in the alkyl‐alkyl Kumada cross‐coupling reaction and revealed that the more sterically hindered ligands produced more homocoupled product rather than the cross‐coupled product, while the mononuclear Ni‐dichloride complex exhibited significantly lower catalytic activity. These chiral complexes were also employed in enantioconvergent cross‐coupling reactions as well, to afford significant enantioenrichment. Overall, the least sterically hindered Ni complex yields the best yields in the alkyl‐alkyl Kumada cross‐coupling reaction among the four complexes investigated, as well as the highest enantioselectivity.

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  3. Nickel K- and L 2,3 -edge X-ray absorption spectra (XAS) are discussed for 16 complexes and complex ions with nickel centers spanning a range of formal oxidation states from II to IV. K-edge XAS alone is shown to be an ambiguous metric of physical oxidation state for these Ni complexes. Meanwhile, L 2,3 -edge XAS reveals that the physical d-counts of the formally Ni IV compounds measured lie well above the d 6 count implied by the oxidation state formalism. The generality of this phenomenon is explored computationally by scrutinizing 8 additional complexes. The extreme case of NiF 6 2− is considered using high-level molecular orbital approaches as well as advanced valence bond methods. The emergent electronic structure picture reveals that even highly electronegative F-donors are incapable of supporting a physical d 6 Ni IV center. The reactivity of Ni IV complexes is then discussed, highlighting the dominant role of the ligands in this chemistry over that of the metal centers. 
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