Metal complexes with oxygen-functionalized NHC ligands: synthesis and applications
Ligand design has met with considerable success with both categories of hybrid ligands, which are characterized by chemically different donor groups, and of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs). Their spectacular development and diversity are attracting worldwide interest and offers almost unlimited diversity and potential in e.g. coordination/organometallic main group and transition metal chemistry, catalysis, medicinal chemistry and materials science. This review aims at providing a comprehensive update on a specific class of ligands that has enjoyed much attention in the past few years, at the intersection between the two categories mentioned above, that of hybrid NHC ligands in which the functionality associated with the carbene donor is of the oxygen-donor type. For each type of oxygen-donor present in such chelating (Section 1) or bridging (Section 2) hybrid ligands, we will examine the synthesis, structures and reactivity of their metal complexes and their applications, with a special focus on homogeneous catalysis (Section 3). Thus, hydrogenation, C–H bond activation, C–C, C–N, C–O bond formation, hydrolysis of silanes, oligomerization, polymerization, metathesis, hydrosilylation, C–C bond cleavage, acceptorless dehydrogenation, dehalogenation/hydrogen transfer, oxidation and reduction reactions will be successively presented in a tabular manner, to facilitate an overview and a rapid identification of the relevant publications describing which metals associated with a given oxygen functionality are most suitable. The literature coverage includes the year 2015.