High-Turnover Aromatic C-H Borylation Catalyzed by POCOP-Type Pincer Complexes of Iridium.
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The catalytic C-H borylation of arenes with HBpin (pin = pinacolate) using POCOP-type pincer complexes of Ir has been demonstrated, with turnover numbers exceeding 10000 in some cases. The selectivity of C-H activation was based on steric preferences and largely mirrored that found in other Ir borylation catalysts. Catalysis in the (POCOP)Ir system depends on the presence of stoichiometric quantities of sacrificial olefin, which is hydrogenated to consume the H2 equivalents generated in the borylation of C-H bonds with HBpin. Smaller olefins such as ethylene or 1-hexene were more advantageous to catalysis than sterically encumbered tert-butylethylene (TBE). Olefin hydroboration is a competing side reaction. The synthesis and isolation of multiple complexes potentially relevant to catalysis permitted examination of several key elementary reactions. These experiments indicate that the C-H activation step in catalysis ostensibly involves oxidative addition of an aromatic C-H bond to the three-coordinate (POCOP)Ir species. The olefin is mechanistically critical to gain access to this 14-electron, monovalent Ir intermediate. C-H activation at Ir(I) here is in contrast to the olefin-free catalysis with state-of-the-art Ir complexes supported by neutral bidentate ligands, where the C-H activating step is understood to involve trivalent Ir-boryl intermediates.