C-H bond activation of benzene by unsaturated η2- cyclopropene and η2-benzyne complexes of niobium

Cédric Boulho, Pascal Oulié, Laure Vendier, Michel Etienne, Véronique Pimienta, Abel Locati, Fabienne Bessac, Feliu Maseras, Dimitrios A. Pantazis, John E. McGrady

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28 Citations (Scopus)


We report the synthesis of a niobium cyclopropyl complex, Tp Me2NbMe(c-C3H5)(MeCCMe), and show that thermal loss of methane from this compound generates an intermediate that is capable of activating both aliphatic and aromatic C-H bonds. Isotopic labeling, trapping studies, a detailed kinetic analysis, and density functional theory all suggest that the active intermediate is an η2-cyclopropene complex formed via β-hydrogen abstraction rather than an isomeric cyclopropylidene species. C-H activation chemistry of this type represents a rather unusual reactivity pattern for η2-alkene complexes but is favored in this case by the strain in the C3 ring which prevents the decomposition of the key intermediate via loss of cyclopropene. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14239-14250
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2010


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