Mechanism, reactivity, and selectivity of the iridium-catalyzed C(sp3)–H borylation of chlorosilanes†
The iridium-catalyzed C(sp3)–H borylation of methylchlorosilanes is investigated by means of density functional theory, using the B3LYP and M06 functionals. The calculations establish that the resting state of the catalyst is a seven-coordinate Ir(V) species that has to be converted into an Ir(III)tris(boryl) complex in order to effect the oxidative addition of the C–H bond. This is then followed by a C–B reductive elimination to yield the borylated product, and the catalytic cycle is finally completed by the regeneration of the active catalyst over two facile steps. The two employed functionals give somewhat different conclusions concerning the nature of the rate-determining step, and whether reductive elimination occurs directly or after a prior isomerization of the Ir(V) hydride intermediate complex. The calculations reproduce quite well the experimentally-observed trends in the reactivities of substrates with different substituents. It is demonstrated that the reactivity can be correlated to the Ir–C bond dissociation energies of the corresponding Ir(V) hydride intermediates. The effect of the chlorosilyl group is identified to originate from the α-carbanion-stabilizing effect of the silicon, which is further reinforced by the presence of an electron-withdrawing chlorine substituent. Furthermore, the source of selectivity for the borylation of primary over secondary C(sp3)–H can be explained on a steric basis, by repulsion between the alkyl group and the Ir/ligand moiety. Finally, the difference in the reactivity between C(sp3)–H and C(sp2)–H borylation is investigated and rationalized in terms of distortion/interaction analysis.