Synthetic, mechanistic, and theoretical studies on the generation of iridium hydride alkylidene and iridium hydride alkene isomers

Patricia Lara, Margarita Paneque, Manuel L. Poveda, Laura L. Santos, José E.V. Valpuesta, Verónica Salazar, Ernesto Carmona, Salvador Moncho, Gregori Ujaque, Agustí Lledós, Celia Maya, Kurt Mereiter

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental and theoretical studies on equilibria between iridium hydride alkylidene structures, [(TpMe2)Ir(H){=C(CH2R)ArO}] (TpMe2 = hydrotris(3,5-dimethylpyrazolyl)borate; R = H, Me; Ar = substituted C6H4 group), and their corresponding hydride olefin isomers, [(TpMe2)Ir(H){R(H)C=C(H)OAr}], have been carried out. Compounds of these types are obtained either by reaction of the unsaturated fragment [(TpMs2)Ir(C6H5)2] with o-C6H4(OH)CH2R, or with the substituted anisoles 2,6-Me2C6H3OMe, 2,4,6Me 3C6H2OMe, and 4-Br-2,6-Me2C 6H2OMe. The reactions with the substituted anisoles require not only multiple C-H bond activation but also cleavage of the Me-OAr bond and the reversible formation of a C-C bond (as revealed by 13C labeling studies). Equilibria between the two tautomeric structures of these complexes were achieved by prolonged heating at temperatures between 100 and 140°C, with interconversion of isomeric complexes requiring inversion of the metal configuration, as well as the expected migratory insertion and hydrogen-elimination reactions. This proposal is supported by a detailed computational exploration of the mechanism at the quantum mechanics (QM) level in the real system. For all compounds investigated, the equilibria favor the alkylidene structure over the olefinic isomer by a factor of between approximately 1 and 25. Calculations demonstrate that the main reason for this preference is the strong Ir-carbene interactions in the carbene isomers, rather than steric destabilization of the olefinic tautomers. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9046-9057
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2009


  • Alkenes
  • C-H activation
  • Carbenes
  • Density functional calculations
  • Iridium


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