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Oxidative Addition of the Imidazolium Cation to Zerovalent Ni, Pd, and Pt: A Combined Density Functional and Experimental Study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 13:05 authored by McGuinness, DS, Cavell, KJ, Brian YatesBrian Yates, Skelton, BW, White, AH
Oxidative addition of different imidazolium cations to zerovalent group 10 metals, to afford heterocyclic carbene complexes, has been investigated by both density functional theory (DFT) and experimental studies. The theoretical analysis shows that addition of imidazoliums to Pt 0 and Ni 0 is more exothermic than to Pd 0, and Ni 0 is predicted to react with a much lower barrier than either Pt 0 or Pd 0 Strongly basic supporting ligands on the metal, as well as cis-chelating ligands, increase the exothermicity of the reaction and also lower the activation barrier. The addition of 2-H imidazoliums is easier and more exothermic than addition of 2-alkylimidazoliums, and a halo-imidazolium is expected to further lower the barrier to oxidative addition and increase the exothermicity. The DFT results show that all three of the metals should be able to oxidatively add imidazolium cations under appropriate conditions. Experimental studies confirmed that oxidative addition is possible, and a number of Pt- and Pd-carbene complexes were prepared via oxidative addition of imidazolium salts to M 0 precursors. Most significantly, oxidative addition of 2-H azolium salts was found to readily occur, and the reaction of 1,3-dimethylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate with Pt(PPh 3) 2 and Pt(PCy 3) 2 affords [PtH(dmiy)(PPh 3) 2]BF4 (10) and [PtH(dmiy)(PCY 3) 2]BF4 (11), while reaction between 3,4-dimethylthiazolium tetrafluoroborate and Pt(PCy 3) 2 yields [PtH(dmty)(PCy 3) 2]BF4 (12) (dmiy = 1,3-dimethylimidazolin-2-ylidene, dmty = 3,4-dimethylthiazolin-2-ylidene). Addition of 2-iodo-1,3,4,5-tetramethylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate to Pt(PPh 3) 4 or Pd(dcype)(dba) yields [PtI(tmiy)(PPh 3) 2]BF4 (9) and [PdI(tmiy)(dcype)]BF4 (14), respectively (tmiy = 1,3,4,5-tetramethylimidazolin-2-ylidene, dcype = 1,3-bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)ethane)). X-ray crystal structures are reported for complexes 9 and 11 (cis and trans). These studies clearly show for the first time that oxidative addition of imidazolium and thiazolium cations is possible, and the results are discussed in terms of the ramifications for catalysis in imidazolium-based ionic liquids with both carbene-based and non-carbene-based complexes.


Publication title

Journal of the American Chemical Society










School of Natural Sciences


American Chemical Society

Place of publication

Washington DC

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Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences

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