Distiboranes based on ortho-phenylene backbones as bidentate Lewis acids for fluoride anion chelation. Academic Article uri icon


  • As part of our efforts in the chemistry of main group platforms that support anion sensing and transport, we are now reporting the synthesis of anitmony-based bidentate Lewis acids featuring the o-C6F4 backbone. These compounds can be easily accessed by reaction of the newly synthesized o-C6F4(SbPh2)2 (5) with o-chloranil or octafluorophenanthra-9,10-quinone, affording the corresponding distiboranes 6 and 7 of general formula o-C6F4(SbPh2(diolate))2 with diolate = tetrachlorocatecholate for 6 and octafluorophenanthrene-9,10-diolate for 7, respectively. While 6 is very poorly soluble, its octafluorophenanthrene-9,10-diolate analog 7 readily dissolves in CH2Cl2 and undergoes swift conversion into the corresponding fluoride chelate complex [7-μ2-F]- which has been isolated as a [nBu4N]+ salt. The o-C6H4 analog of 7, referred to as 8, has also been prepared. Although less Lewis acidic than 7, 8 also forms a very stable fluoride chelate complex ([8-μ2-F]-). Altogether, our experiental results, coupled with computational analyses and fluoride anion affinity calculations, show that 7 and 8 are some of the strongest antimony-based fluoride anion chelators prepared to date. Another notable aspect of this work concerns the use of the octafluorophenanthrene-9,10-diolate ligand and its ablity to impart advantageous solubility and Lewis acidity properties.

published proceedings

  • Org Biomol Chem

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • You, D. i., Zhou, B., Hirai, M., & Gabbaï, F. P.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • You, Di||Zhou, Benyu||Hirai, Masato||Gabbaï, François P

publication date

  • June 2021