Twenty-five years of bis-pentafluorophenyl borane: a versatile reagent for catalyst and materials synthesis
In 1995, the synthesis, properties and remarkable hydroboration activity of bis-pentafluorophenyl borane was first reported. Its reactivity stems from the ready accessibility of the monomeric borane and its high Lewis acidity. In the intervening twenty five years, this reagent has been widely exploited as a means of incorporating Lewis acidic –B(C6F5)2 groups into complex structures for a range of applications. In this “25th Anniversary” Feature article, we highlight the synthetic methods to the borane, its fundamental properties and chemistry as well as the diverse array of uses of this borane. These include self-activating olefin polymerization catalysts, frustrated Lewis pair generation, small molecule activation, bond cleavage reactions, Lewis acid catalysis and modification of organic materials.