5 years ago

N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Stabilized Boranthrene as a Metal-Free Platform for the Activation of Small Molecules

N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Stabilized Boranthrene as a Metal-Free Platform for the Activation of Small Molecules
Camilo F. Guzman, W. Hill Harman, Alex McSkimming, Jordan W. Taylor
The multielectron reduction of small molecules (e.g., CO2) is a key aspect of fuel synthesis from renewable electricity. Transition metals have been researched extensively in this role due to their intrinsic redox properties and reactivity, but more recently, strategies that forego transition metal ions for p-block elements have emerged. In this vein, we report an analogue of boranthrene (9,10-diboraanthracene) stabilized by N-heterocyclic carbenes and its one- and two-electron oxidized congeners. This platform exhibits reversible, two-electron redox chemistry at mild potentials and reacts with O2, CO2, and ethylene via formal [4+2] cycloaddition to the central diborabutadiene core. In an area traditionally dominated by transition metals, these results outline an approach for the redox activation of small molecules at mild potentials based on conjugated, light element scaffolds.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b06772

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b06772

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