Fluoride ion capture from water with a cationic borane.
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The reaction of the [Li(THF)4]+ salt of dimesityl-1,8-naphthalenediylborate with [Me2NCH2]I affords a borane (1-(Mes2B)-8-(Me2NCH2)-C10H6) which can be converted into a cationic borane + ([1-(Mes2B)-8-(Me3NCH2)-C10H6]+) by methylation with MeOTf. This cationic borane promptly complexes fluoride to afford the corresponding zwitterionic ammonium/fluoroborate 3-F (1-(Mes2FB)-8-(Me3NCH2)-C10H6). Cation + fails to react with chloride, bromide, and iodide indicating that fluoride complexation is selective. Structural, spectroscopic, and computational studies carried out on 3-F show the existence of an unusual C-H...F-B hydrogen bond. Remarkably, + captures fluoride from water under biphasic conditions (H2O/CHCl3) to form 3-F. The high fluoride affinity of + can be correlated to the Coulombic forces which stabilize the B-F bond against heterolysis.