Complexes with bulky hydrotris(triazolyl)borate (Ttz) ligands, TtzCuCO, were used to probe how acids change the donor properties of Ttz ligands. (TtztBu,Me)CuCO shows four distinct protonation states and a gradual increase in the CO stretch. The increased electrophilic nature of the Cu center upon protonation leads to enhanced C–H activation catalysis.
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