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Activation of B-H, Si-H, and C-F bonds with Tp′Rh(PMe3) complexes: Kinetics, mechanism, and selectivity

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Publication details

JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2014
DatePublished (current) - 28 Jan 2015
Issue number3
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)1258-1272
Early online date29/12/14
Original languageEnglish


The photochemical reactions of Tp′Rh(PMe3)H2 (1) and thermal reactions of Tp′Rh(PMe3)(CH3)H (1a, Tp′ = tris(3,5-dimethylpyrazolyl)borate) with substrates containing B-H, Si-H, C-F, and C-H bonds are reported. Complexes 1 and 1a are known activators of C-H bonds, including those of alkanes. Kinetic studies of reactions with HBpin and PhSiH3 show that photodissociation of H2 from 1 occurs prior to substrate attack, whereas thermal reaction of 1a proceeds by bimolecular reaction with the substrate. Complete intramolecular selectivity for B-H over C-H activation of HBpin (pin = pinacolate) leading to Tp′ Rh-(PMe3)(Bpin)H is observed. Similarly, the reaction with Et2SiH2 shows a strong preference for Si-H over C-H activation, generating Tp′Rh-(PMe3)(SiEt2H)H. The Rh(Bpin)H and Rh(SiEt2H)H products were stable to heating in benzene in accord with DFT calculations that showed that reaction with benzene is endoergic. The intramolecular competition with PhSiH3 yields a ∼1:4 mixture of Tp′Rh(PMe3)(C6H4SiH3)H and Tp′Rh(PMe3)(SiPhH2)H, respectively. Reaction with pentafluoropyridine generates Tp′Rh(PMe3)(C5NF4)F, while reaction with 2,3,5,6-tetrafluoropyridine yields a mixture of C-H and C-F activated products. Hexa fluorobenzene proves unreactive. Crystal structures are reported for B-H, Si-H, and C-F activated products, but in the latter case a bifluoride complex Tp′Rh(PMe3)(C5NF4)(FHF) was crystallized. Intermolecular competition reactions were studied by photoreaction of 1 in C6F6 with benzene and another substrate (HBpin, PhSiH3, or pentafluoropyridine) employing in situ laser photolysis in the NMR probe, resulting in a wide-ranging map of kinetic selectivities. The mechanisms of intramolecular and intermolecular selection are analyzed. (Chemical Equation Presented).

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© 2014 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.


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