A mechanistic study of the utilization of arachno-diruthenaborane [(Cp*RuCO)2B2H6] as an active alkyne-cyclotrimerization catalyst

K. Geetharani, Samat Tussupbayev, Julia Borowka, Max C. Holthausen, Sundargopal Ghosh

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Abstract

The reaction of nido-[1,2-(Cp*RuH)2B3H 7] (1 a, Cp*=η5-C5Me 5) with [Mo(CO)3(CH3CN)3] under mild conditions yields the new metallaborane arachno-[(Cp*RuCO) 2B2H6] (2). Compound 2 catalyzes the cyclotrimerization of a variety of internal- and terminal alkynes to yield mixtures of 1,3,5- and 1,2,4-substituted benzenes. The reactivities of nido-1 a and arachno-2 with alkynes demonstrates that a change in geometry from nido to arachno drives a change in the reaction from alkyne-insertion to catalytic cyclotrimerization, respectively. Density functional calculations have been used to evaluate the reaction pathways of the cyclotrimerization of alkynes catalyzed by compound 2. The reaction involves the formation of a ruthenacyclic intermediate and the subsequent alkyne-insertion step is initiated by a [2+2] cycloaddition between this intermediate and an alkyne. The experimental and quantum-chemical results also show that the stability of the metallacyclic intermediate is strongly dependent on the nature of the substituents that are present on the alkyne. Everything changes but Ru: The reactivities of nido-[1,2-(Cp*RuH)2B3H7] and arachno-[(Cp*RuCO)2B2H6] with alkynes show that a change in geometry (nido to arachno) drives a change from alkyne-insertion to catalytic cyclotrimerization, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8482-8489
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume18
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2012

Keywords

  • boron
  • cyclotrimerization
  • density functional calculations
  • reaction mechanisms
  • ruthenium

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