Author(s): Tellers DM, Yung CM, Arndtsen BA, Adamson DR, Bergman RG
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Abstract A detailed mechanistic study of arene C [bond] H activation in CH(2)Cl(2) solution by Cp(L)IrMe(X) [L = PMe(3), P(OMe)(3); X = OTf, (CH(2)Cl(2))BAr(f); (BAr(f) = B[3,5-C(6)H(3)(CF(3))(2)](4))(-)] is presented. It was determined that triflate dissociation in Cp(L)IrMe(OTf), to generate tight and/or solvent-separated ion pairs containing a cationic iridium complex, precedes C [bond] H activation. Consistent with the ion-pair hypothesis, the rate of arene activation by Cp(L)IrMe(OTf) is unaffected by added external triflate salts, but the rate is strongly dependent upon the medium. Thus the reactivity of Cp(PMe(3))IrMe(OTf) can be increased by almost 3 orders of magnitude by addition of (n-Hex)(4)NBAr(f), presumably because the added BAr(f) anion exchanges with the OTf anion in the initially formed ion pair, transiently forming a cation/borate ion pair in solution (special salt effect). In contrast, addition of (n-Hex)(4)NBAr(f) to [CpPMe(3)Ir(Me)CH(2)Cl(2)][BAr(f)] does not affect the rate of benzene activation; here there is no initial covalent/ionic pre-equilibrium that can be perturbed with added (n-Hex)(4)NBAr(f). An analysis of the reaction between Cp(PMe(3))IrMe(OTf) and various substituted arenes demonstrated that electron-donating substituents on the arene increase the rate of the C [bond] H activation reaction. The rate of C(6)H(6) activation by [Cp(PMe(3))Ir(Me)CH(2)Cl(2)][BAr(f)] is substantially faster than [Cp(P(OMe)(3))Ir(Me)CH(2)Cl(2)][BAr(f)]. Density functional theory computations suggest that this is due to a less favorable pre-equilibrium for dissociation of the dichloromethane ligand in the trimethyl phosphite complex, rather than to a large electronic effect on the C [bond] H oxidative addition transition state. Because of these combined effects, the overall rate of arene activation is increased by electron-donating substituents on both the substrate and the iridium complex.
This article was published in J Am Chem Soc
and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics