28 July 2023

New class of RSO2-NHC ligands and Pd/RSO2-NHC complexes with tailored electronic properties and high performance in catalytic C-C and C-N bonds formation

Imidazolium salts have received ubiquitous applications as N-heterocyclic carbene precursors and metal nanoparticle stabilizers in catalysis and metallodrug research. Substituents directly attached to the imidazole ring can have a significant influence on the electronic, steric, and other properties of NHC-proligands as well as their metal complexes. In the present study, for the first time, a new type of Pd/NHC complexes with the RSO2 group directly attached to the imidazol-2-ylidene ligand core was designed and synthesized. Electronic properties as well as structural features of new ligands were evaluated by means of experimental and computational methods. Interestingly, the introduction of a 4-aryl(alkyl)sulfonyl group only slightly decreased electron donation, but it significantly increased ?-acceptance and slightly enhanced the buried volume (%Vbur) of new imidazol-2-ylidenes. New Pd/NHC complexes were obtained through selective C(2)H-palladation of some of the synthesized 4-RSO2-functionalized imidazolium salts under mild conditions. Several complexes demonstrated good activity in the catalysis of model cross-coupling reactions, outperforming the activity of similar complexes with non-substituted NHC ligands.

Reference: Dalton Trans., 2023, ASAP.

DOI: 10.1039/D3DT02296J