Coligand role in the NHC nickel catalyzed C–F bond activation: investigations on the insertion of bis(NHC) nickel into the C–F bond of hexafluorobenzene†
The reaction of [Ni(Mes2Im)2] (1) (Mes2Im = 1,3-dimesityl-imidazolin-2-ylidene) with polyfluorinated arenes as well as mechanistic investigations concerning the insertion of 1 and [Ni(iPr2Im)2] (1ipr) (iPr2Im = 1,3-diisopropyl-imidazolin-2-ylidene) into the C–F bond of C6F6 is reported. The reaction of 1 with different fluoroaromatics leads to formation of the nickel fluoroaryl fluoride complexes trans-[Ni(Mes2Im)2(F)(ArF)] (ArF = 4-CF3-C6F42, C6F53, 2,3,5,6-C6F4N 4, 2,3,5,6-C6F4H 5, 2,3,5-C6F3H26, 3,5-C6F2H37) in fair to good yields with the exception of the formation of the pentafluorophenyl complex 3 (less than 20%). Radical species and other diamagnetic side products were detected for the reaction of 1 with C6F6, in line with a radical pathway for the C–F bond activation step using 1. The difluoride complex trans-[Ni(Mes2Im)2(F)2] (9), the bis(aryl) complex trans-[Ni(Mes2Im)2(C6F5)2] (15), the structurally characterized nickel(I) complex trans-[NiI(Mes2Im)2(C6F5)] (11) and the metal radical trans-[NiI(Mes2Im)2(F)] (12) were identified. Complex 11, and related [NiI(Mes2Im)2(2,3,5,6-C6F4H)] (13) and [NiI(Mes2Im)2(2,3,5-C6F3H2)] (14), were synthesized independently by reaction of trans-[Ni(Mes2Im)2(F)(ArF)] with PhSiH3. Simple electron transfer from 1 to C6F6 was excluded, as the redox potentials of the reaction partners do not match and [Ni(Mes2Im)2]+, which was prepared independently, was not detected. DFT calculations were performed on the insertion of [Ni(iPr2Im)2] (1ipr) and [Ni(Mes2Im)2] (1) into the C–F bond of C6F6. For 1ipr, concerted and NHC-assisted pathways were identified as having the lowest kinetic barriers, whereas for 1, a radical mechanism with fluoride abstraction and an NHC-assisted pathway are both associated with almost the same kinetic barrier.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection