Oxidation of Tertiary Silanes by Osmium Tetroxide Academic Article uri icon


  • In the presence of an excess of pyridine ligand L, osmium tetroxide oxidizes tertiary silanes (Et(3)SiH, (i)Pr(3)SiH, Ph(3)SiH, or PhMe(2)SiH) to the corresponding silanols. With L = 4-tert-butylpyridine ((t)Bupy), OsO(4)((t)Bupy) oxidizes Et(3)SiH and PhMe(2)SiH to yield 100 +/- 2% of silanol and the structurally characterized osmium(VI) mu-oxo dimer [OsO(2)((t)Bupy)(2)](2)(mu-O)(2) (1a). With L = pyridine (py), only 40-60% yields of R(3)SiOH are obtained, apparently because of coprecipitation of osmium(VIII) with [Os(O)(2)py(2)](2)(mu-O)(2) (1b). Excess silane in these reactions causes further reduction of the OsVI products, and similar osmium "over-reduction" is observed with PhSiH(3), Bu(3)SnH, and boranes. The pathway for OsO(4)(L) + R(3)SiH involves an intermediate, which forms rapidly at 200 K and decays more slowly to products. NMR and IR spectra indicate that the intermediate is a monomeric Os(VI)-hydroxo-siloxo complex, trans-cis-cis-Os(O)(2)L(2)(OH)(OSiR(3)). Mechanistic studies and density functional theory calculations indicate that the intermediate is formed by the [3 + 2] addition of an Si-H bond across an O=Os=O fragment. This is the first direct observation of a [3 + 2] intermediate in a sigma-bond oxidation, though such species have previously been implicated in reactions of H-H and C-H bonds with OsO(4)(L) and RuO(4).

author list (cited authors)

  • Valliant-Saunders, K., Gunn, E., Shelton, G. R., Hrovat, D. A., Borden, W. T., & Mayer, J. M.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007 11:11 AM