Counteranion and solvent assistance in ruthenium-mediated alkyne to vinylidene isomerizations

Manuel Jiménez-Tenorio, M. Carmen Puerta, Pedro Valerga, Manuel A Ortuno Maqueda, Gregori Ujaque, Agustí Lledós

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34 Scopus citations


The complex [Cp*RuCl(iPr2PNHPy)] (1) reacts with 1-alkynes HCî -CR (R = COOMe, C6H4CF 3) in dichloromethane furnishing the corresponding vinylidene complexes [Cp*Ru =C =CHR(iPr2PNHPy)]Cl (R = COOMe (2a-Cl), C6H4CF3 (2b-Cl)), whereas reaction of 1 with NaBPh4 in MeOH followed by addition of HCî -CR (R = COOMe, C6H4CF3) yields the metastable π-alkyne complexes [Cp*Ru(η2-HCî -CR)( iPr2PNHPy)][BPh4] (R = COOMe (3a-BPh 4), C6H4CF3 (3b-BPh4)). The transformation of 3a-BPh4/3b-BPh4 into their respective vinylidene isomers in dichloromethane is very slow and requires hours to its completion. However, this process is accelerated by addition of LiCl in methanol solution. Reaction of 1 with HCî -CR (R = COOMe, C 6H4CF3) in MeOH goes through the intermediacy of the π-alkyne complexes [Cp*Ru(η2-HCî -CR)( iPr2PNHPy)]Cl (R = COOMe (3a-Cl), C6H 4CF3 (3b-Cl)), which rearrange to vinylidenes in minutes, i.e., much faster than their counterparts containing the [BPh4] - anion. The kinetics of these isomerizations has been studied in solution by NMR. With the help of DFT studies, these observations have been interpreted in terms of chloride- and methanol-assisted hydrogen migrations. Calculations suggest participation of a hydrido-alkynyl intermediate in the process, in which the hydrogen atom can be transferred from the metal to the β-carbon by means of species with weak basic character acting as proton shuttles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8919-8932
Number of pages14
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 5 2013


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