Beta-elimination is explored as a possible means of nitrogen-atom transfer into organic molecules, Molybdenum(IV) ketimide complexes of formula (Ar[t-Bu]N)3Mo(N=C(X)Ph), where Ar = 3,5-Me2C 6H3 and X = SC6F5, SeC 6F5, or O2CPh, are formally derived from addition of the carbene fragment [:C(X)Ph] to the terminal nitrido molybdenum(VI) complex (Ar[t-Bu]N)3Mo≡N in which the nitrido nitrogen atom is installed by scission of molecular nitrogen. Herein the pivotal (Ar[t-Bu]N)3Mo(N=C(X)Ph) complexes are obtained through independent synthesis, and their propensity to undergo beta-X elimination, i.e., conversion to (Ar[t-Bu]N)3MoX + PhC≡N, is investigated. Radical C-X bond formation reactions ensue when benzonitrile is complexed to the three-coordinate molybdenum(III) complex (Ar[t-Bu]N)3Mo and then treated with 0.5 equiv of X2, leading to facile assembly of the key (Ar[t-Bu]N) 3Mo(N=C(X)Ph) molecules. Treated herein are synthetic, structural, thermochemical, and kinetic aspects of (i) the radical C-X bond formation and (ii) the ensuing beta-X elimination processes. Beta-X elimination is found to be especially facile for X = O2-CPh, and the reaction represents an attractive component of an overall synthetic cycle for incorporation of dinitrogen-derived nitrogen atoms into organic nitrile (R-C≡N) molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry