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A series of ortho-phenylene bridged palladium bis-NHC complexes has been synthesized. Complexes with imidazolium and benzimidazolium derived NHCs and methyl-/benzyl-wingtips are reported. Bis(benz)imidazoles with a doubly brominated ortho-phenylene bridge could be obtained by an electrophilic substitution reaction. The structure of the complexes could be confirmed by three solid-state structures. All catalysts have been tested in the catalytic functionalisation of propane. The catalytic activity is highly dependent on the ligand, whereas ligand effects on the regioselectivity (n/iso) are much smaller.
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