Probing the CH Activation of Linear and Cyclic Ethers at (PNP)Ir Academic Article uri icon


  • Interaction of the amido/bis(phosphine)-supported (PNP)Ir fragment with a series of linear and cyclic ethers is shown to afford, depending on substrate, products of ,-dehydrogenation (carbenes), ,- dehydrogenation (vinyl ethers), or decarbonylation. While carbenes are exclusively obtained from tert-amyl methyl ether, sec-butyl methyl ether (SBME), n-butyl methyl ether (NBME), and tetrahydrofuran (THF), vinyl ethers or their adducts are observed upon reaction with diethyl ether and 1,4-dioxane. Decarbonylation occurs upon interaction of (PNP)Ir with benzyl methyl ether, and a mechanism is proposed for this unusual transformation, which occurs via a series of C-H, C-O, and C-C bond cleavage events. The intermediates characterized for several of these reactions as well as the ,- dehydrogenation of tert-butyl methyl ether (MTBE) are used to outline a reaction pathway for the generation of PNP-supported iridium(I) carbene complexes, and it is shown that the long-lived, observable intermediates are substrate-dependent and differ for the related cases of MTBE and THF. Taken together, these findings highlight the variety of pathways utilized by the electron-rich, unsaturated (PNP)Ir fragment to stabilize itself by transferring electron density to ethereal substrates through oxidative addition and/or the formation of jr-acidic ligands. 2009 American Chemical Society.

published proceedings

  • Organometallics

author list (cited authors)

  • Whited, M. T., Zhu, Y., Timpa, S. D., Chen, C., Foxman, B. M., Ozerov, O. V., & Grubbs, R. H.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Whited, Matthew T||Zhu, Yanjun||Timpa, Samuel D||Chen, Chun-Hsing||Foxman, Bruce M||Ozerov, Oleg V||Grubbs, Robert H

publication date

  • August 2009