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  1. The synthesis and structural characterization of the first sulfur-containing derivatives of C,C-biscarborane {ortho-C2B10}2 cluster – thiol, thioether, and disulfide- is reported. The biscarboranyl dithiol (1-HS-C2B10H10)2 exhibits the exceedingly long intracluster carbon-carbon bond length of 1.858(3) Å, which is attributed to the extensive interaction between lone pairs of thiol groups and the unoccupied molecular orbital of carborane cluster. The structures of doubly deprotonated biscarboranyl dithiolate anion (1-S-C2B10H10)22– with various countercations feature even longer carbon-carbon bond of 2.062(10) Å within the cluster along with the short carbon-sulfur bond of 1.660(7) Å, both indicative of significant delocalization of electron density from sulfur atoms into the cluster. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 31, 2025
  2. Icosahedral closo -dodecaboranes have the ability to accept two electrons, opening into a dianionic nido -cluster. This transformation can be utilized to store electrons, drive bond activation, or alter coordination to metal cations. In this feature article, we present cases for each of these applications, wherein the redox activity of carborane facilitates the generation of unique products. We highlight the effects of exohedral substituents on reactivity and the stability of the products through conjugation between the cluster and exohedral substituents. Futher, the utilization of the redox properties and geometry of carborane clusters in the ligand design is detailed, both in the stabilization of low-valent complexes and in the tuning of ligand geometry. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 25, 2024
  3. We report the synthesis and characterization of a nickel(II) complex of the dicarboranyl CNC dianionic pincer ligand, which activates acetonitrile by C–C bond cleavage. Deprotonation of the relatively acidic C–H bond of the coordinated acetonitrile with potassium t-butoxide led to the formation of the C-bound cyanomethylene ligand at the metal center. Unlike most previously characterized Ni(II) cyanoalkyls, the resulting complex exhibited quick transformation under aerobic conditions at room temperature to afford CNC-ligated nickel(II) cyanide, indicating facile cleavage of the C–CN bond. The cyanoalkyl and cyanide complexes were isolated in excellent yields and characterized by NMR spectroscopy and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Carbon-containing products of the aerobic C–CN bond activation are hydroxyacetonitrile, formaldehyde, cyanomethyl formate, and carbon dioxide. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 12, 2024
  4. The mechanism of the asymmetric silylation of alcohols with isothiourea catalysts was studied by employing reaction progress kinetic analysis. These reactions were developed by the Wiskur group, and use triphenyl silyl chloride and chiral isothiourea catalysts to silylate the alcohols. While the order of most reaction components was as expected (catalyst, amine base, alcohol), the silyl chloride was determined to be a higher order. This suggested a multistep mechanism between the catalyst and silyl chloride, with the second equivalent of silyl chloride assisting in the formation of the reactive intermediate leading to the rate-determining step. Through the addition of additives and investigating changes in the silyl chloride, an understanding of the catalyst equilibrium emerged for this reaction and provided pathways for further reaction development. 
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    Carbon atom functionalization via generation of carbanions is the cornerstone of carborane chemistry. In this work, we report the synthesis and structural characterization of free ortho-carboranyl [C2B10H11]−, a three-dimensional inorganic analog of the elusive phenyl anion that features a “naked” carbanion center. The first example of a stable, discrete C(H)-deprotonated carborane anion was isolated as a completely separated ion pair with a crown ether-encapsulated potassium cation. An analogous approach led to the isolation and structural characterization of a doubly deprotonated 1,1′-bis(o-carborane) anion [C2B10H10]22−, which is the first example of a discrete molecular dicarbanion. These reactive carbanions are key intermediates in carbon vertex chemistry of carborane clusters. 
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