Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 22, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Applications of N-heterocyclic imines in main group chemistry

Author affiliations


The imidazolin-2-imino group is an N-heterocyclic imino functionality that derives from the class of compounds known as guanidines. The exocyclic nitrogen atom preferably bonds to electrophiles and its electron-donating character is markedly enhanced by efficient delocalization of cationic charge density into the five-membered imidazoline ring. Thus, this imino group is an excellent choice for thermodynamic stabilization of electron-deficient species. Due to the variety of available imidazoline-based precursors to this ligand, its steric demand can be tailored to meet the requirements for kinetic stabilization of otherwise highly reactive species. Consequently, it does not come as a surprise that the imidazolin-2-iminato ligand has found widespread applications in transition-metal chemistry to furnish pincer complexes or “pogo stick” type compounds. In comparison, the field of main-group metal compounds of this ligand is still in its infancy; however, it has received growing attention in recent years. A considerable number of electron-poor main-group element species have been described today which are stabilized by N-heterocyclic iminato ligands. These include low-valent metal cations and species that are marked by formerly unknown bonding modes. In this article we provide an overview on the present chemistry of main-group element compounds of the imidazolin-2-iminato ligand, as well as selected examples for the related imidazolidin- and benzimidazolin-2-imino system.

Graphical abstract: Applications of N-heterocyclic imines in main group chemistry

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 29 Feb 2016 and first published on 08 Aug 2016

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6CS00163G
Author version
Download author version (PDF)
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016,45, 6327-6344
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Applications of N-heterocyclic imines in main group chemistry

    T. Ochiai, D. Franz and S. Inoue, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016, 45, 6327
    DOI: 10.1039/C6CS00163G

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author