Eight new dinuclear gold(I) complexes, [Au2(L)X2] (1−8), were synthesized using a straightforward synthetic procedure under very mild conditions. The complexes have been characterized by NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and single-crystal X-ray structure analysis. Their catalytic activity was investigated in the carboxylative cyclization of propargylamine (PPA). A superior performance in comparison to [Au(IPr)Cl] (9) was obtained for complexes 1 and 2 having an eight-methylene bridge connecting two NHCs with an arene bearing an isopropyl substituent for X = Cl, Br. This prompted more detailed kinetic and mechanistic studies by FTIR comparing dinuclear complex 2 of X = Cl to complex 9. Fortuitously the FTIR studies allowed monitoring of the formation of the products carbamic acid (CA) and carbamate salt (CS), as well as a key cyclized intermediate first discovered by Ikariya. These data allow additional insight into the mechanism as well as the central role which may be played by Au(I) carbamate formation as a higher energy resting state present in the catalytic cycle. The crystal structures of four of the new complexes and a detailed computational study relevant to the role of carbamic acid (CA) and carbamates in the catalytic cycle are also reported.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry