27 December 2023

Base-Ionizable Anionic NHC Ligands in Pd-catalyzed Reactions of Aryl Chlorides

Aryl chlorides, due to their affordability and accessibility, are preferred reagents in Pd-catalyzed arylation reactions. However, the reactivity of aryl chlorides is often reduced compared to aryl bromides and iodides due to the significantly higher barriers of the oxidative addition stage. This research introduces a novel design for NHC ligands, which notably enhances the efficiency of Pd/NHC catalytic systems in reactions where oxidative addition of aryl chloride is the rate-limiting step. This design leverages a synergy between specific steric characteristics and the anionic nature of the newly fashioned 1,2,4-triazol-5-ylidene ligands. These ligands, inspired by Nitron-type designs, can be ionized under basic conditions due to their NH-acidic aryl(alkyl)amino groups. Detailed experimental and DFT studies revealed that the deprotonation of these NHCs promotes electron donation to the metal center, promoting the oxidative addition of aryl chloride. The specially optimized ATPr ligand, featuring 2,6-diisopropylphenyl groups, displayed remarkable catalytic efficacy in the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction and improved outcomes in ketone ??-arylation and Buchwald-Hartwig reactions with unactivated aryl chlorides. The insights and strategies established in this study provide rational considerations for further advancements in NHC designs and their applications in metal-catalyzed reactions.

Reference: ChemCatChem, 2024, e202301471.

DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202301471