E-H (E = B, Si, C) Bond Activation by Tuning Structural and Electronic Properties of Phosphenium Cations

Nemanja Dordević, Rakesh Ganguly, Milena Petković, Dragoslav Vidović

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In this work, strategic enhancement of electrophilicity of phosphenium cations for the purpose of small-molecule activation was described. Our synthetic methodology for generation of novel two-coordinate phosphorus(III)-based compounds [{C6H4(MeN)2C}2C·PR]2+ ([2a]2+, R = NiPr2; [2b]2+, R = Ph) was based on the exceptional electron-donating properties of the carbodicarbene ligand (CDC). The effects of P-centered substituent exchange and increase in the overall positive charge on small substrate activation were comparatively determined by incorporating the bis(amino)phosphenium ion [(iPr2N)2P]+ ([1]+) in this study. Implemented structural and electronic modifications of phosphenium salts were computationally verified and subsequently confirmed by isolation and characterization of the corresponding E-H (E = B, Si, C) bond activation products. While both phosphenium mono- and dications oxidatively inserted/cleaved the B-H bond of Lewis base stabilized boranes, the increased electrophilicity of doubly charged species also afforded the activation of significantly less hydridic Si-H and C-H bonds. The preference of [2a]2+ and [2b]2+ to abstract the hydride rather than to insert into the corresponding bond of silanes, as well as the formation of the carbodicarbene-stabilized parent phosphenium ion [{C6H4(MeN)2C}2C·PH2]+ ([2·PH2]+) were experimentally validated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14671-14681
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017

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